Vergne finishes 16th from pit lane start
15 April 2012 – Jean-Éric Vergne should have come from 18th on the grid in the Chinese Grand Prix. As it happened, the Frenchman’s car underwent a raft of changes overnight; as this broke Parc Fermé regulations, the Toro Rosso started from the pit lane and went on to finish 16th to cap off a very difficult weekend for the Faenza team.
“We decided to change some elements on the car that had not worked well up to qualifying, which is why I started from pit lane, so my setup for the race was more similar to what we had in Melbourne and Sepang,” he explained.
“I did not have high hopes of doing much, starting from the back, but the important thing was to see how the car performed. It was pretty good, so I expect we will start with it like that in Bahrain and hopefully be able to have a better race result.
“Today’s race had some enjoyable moments as I passed a few cars, but it was a bit short for me. A few more laps and I think I could have got ahead of the two guys in front of me (the struggling Kimi Räikkönen and Nico Hülkenberg).
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo came home 17th, over ten seconds further back.