Question: Why is Tost happy with his drivers?

I’ve been ignoring a piece over at the officials Formula 1 site today: It’s a Q&A with Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost, and the headline, “Vergne, Ricciardo impressing so far,” bored me to tears.

But then I checked the driver rankings, and I suddenly was anything but bored. I was — take your pick — confused, annoyed, anxious, disbelieving, angry, befuddled and out of a Thesaurus.

Here’s the points total for Toro Rosso this season: six. That puts it 38 points behind the mighty Force India. Jean-Eric Vergne has four points; Daniel Ricciardo has just two.

And Tost thinks they’re impressive? Here’s a bit from the Q&A:

Q: Franz, we have almost reached midseason, so you’ve had some time to watch your two youngsters in action. What are your thoughts on Ricciardo and Vergne so far?
Franz Tost: So far I must say that both of them are highly skilled and both of them, so far, have shown good performance. Daniel scored points in his first race for us in Melbourne, when he finished in P9 and Jean-Eric finished in Sepang in P8, which showed that there is a lot of potential. The progress that both are making is quite promising, so I have to say that so far we are satisfied.

Q: Both have scored points but both did it at the start of the season. Why is that? From the outside it looks like the team have taken a step backwards…
FT: We had possibilities, we had chances, but we didn’t seize them. For example Daniel started from P6 in Bahrain and couldn’t profit from it, and Jean-Eric was in P7 ten laps before the chequered flag in Monaco but finished 12th. In Valencia Daniel was in a promising position where he could have easily finished in the points before some contact cut short his ambitions. Last weekend was not exactly what we were looking for as we definitely were better in the wet. But it didn’t rain in the race and on top of that Jean-Eric had to cope with his penalty. So no points again, but both cars finished the race and mileage is all that matters for rookies. So we have definitely not taken a step backwards but our competitors are working better. Maybe we have gained two- or three-tenths of a second, but the others have gained maybe four- or five-tenths.

Q: Why is that?
FT: Maybe they found a better solution but maybe also the development speed has not been high enough on our side.

OK, admittedly, I included that last question because I love that twice we get “Why is that?” as the query. Why is that, do you suppose?

Or perhaps I should put it this way: Why is it that Tost is happy with his drivers’ performances? Seems to be they kind of stink.

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