Sébastien Buemi of the #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing shared his thoughts after finishing behind the #7 sister car at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Along with the success handicap impacting them the most, the #7 crew sought redemption at Spa with difficulties in the past few 6H Spa races.
The quicker #8 TGR of Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Kazuki Nakajima faced a mixture of issues whilst fighting for victory with the #7.
“I am a bit disappointed because we had a good chance to win the race today but unfortunately we did a few mistakes as a team on our car,” Buemi said.
The #8 had the potential to win with a better theoretical pace as the #7 was pulled back on the handicap. Nevertheless, both TGRs’ four-wheel-drive benefited in the heavy rain conditions.
“We made a wrong tyre choice at the first pit stop and then we had a small issue which cost us time,” Buemi reflected on a poor call of strategy and his hybrid-energy recuperation issue in the opening stages.Embed from Getty Images
The ‘protection mode’ was an automated attempt to preserve the drivetrain in the TS050, as the #8 built up a confident lead over the #7 thus far into the race.
He ran wide at a couple of corners on lap 12-13 following its effects on the lack of energy recuperation under braking, but quickly got back up to racing speeds.
Hartley, who took over later on, also experienced the ‘protection mode’ issues but argued a more detrimental effect on his pace compared to Buemi’s.
The Kiwi lost approximately 30 seconds of pace compared to Kamui Kobayashi in the #7.
Towards the end, a late pitstop for fuel meant that the #8 rejoined under 7 seconds behind the #7 and team-orders fixated those positions until the end.
“It was a difficult race but we still came second and we helped TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to another one-two finish.
“Now we look forward to Le Mans and try to have a better race there,” as the team set out for a third consecutive Le Mans victory, making Toyota eligible to claim the Le Mans 24 Grand Trophy.