Toro Rosso pair hail Monaco strategy calls after best result of the season
The last time Toro Rosso had two cars finish in the top eight was at the United States Grand Prix in 2015. But after a difficult start to 2019 - with just six points on the scoreboard from the opening five rounds of the season - the Italian squad bounced back in style on Sunday with their best-ever finish at the tight and twisty Monaco circuit.
Both of their drivers stayed out on long first stints, with Alexander Albon stretching his soft tyres as far as Lap 40 in a bid to avoid traffic en-route to a P8 finish, one place behind team mate Daniil Kvyat.
“The team did a great job with strategy”, said Albon. “We kind of knew that was a possibility that if we did pit we would get stuck behind these kind of slower cars. We [also] made the tyres last, so all credit to the guys - two cars in the top 10.”
Albon was left both “happy and disappointed” after Saturday's qualifying. The Thai driver lined up P10 for the race start, and though he was unable to emulate his Thursday practice form that saw him just two-tenths off the pace of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, strategy helped lift him.
The race result is Toro Rosso’s first two-car top-eight finish at the Monaco Grand Prix and is both drivers' best result for the team. Before this weekend, Kvyat had never finished above eighth in his 56 starts for Toro Rosso, after securing P9 and P10 no less than 13 times across his two stints with the squad.
“P7 was a good result," he smiled. "Strategy was good, the tyre management was very good and I’m happy with my overall performance over the weekend, because [qualifying] yesterday was super strong. Today the race also was very strong and hopefully we will continue like this.”
The result lifts Toro Rosso two places in the constructors' standings to seventh, level on 16 points with Haas, and just one point behind Racing Point.