Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley rued a bad start at the Japanese Grand Prix which he feels cost him the chance of a points finish at Honda's home race.
Having put his STR13 a career-best sixth place in mixed weather conditions during qualifying, Hartley aimed for a haul of points in Suzuka to give his season a big boost as he continues to fight for his seat with the team for 2019.
The New Zealander puts his poor early pace in the race down to overheated tyres which were a cause of his poor start which was a result of a lot of wheelspin as he got away from his grid slot.
"It was a disappointing day for everyone at Toro Rosso," said the Kiwi. "We had two cars starting sixth and seventh, and we both finished outside of the points.
"From my side, the start, I had really, really poor traction off the line, huge wheelspin, and consequently that massively overheated the tyres for the first five, six laps. I was really, really suffering with traction.
"I think I already lost three or four places before Turn 2. It didn’t feel like my procedure was too bad at the start, so I need to check with the engineers what happened. This then massively overheated the tyres on the rear, and they’re so sensitive that this really affected the entire first stint.
"I got them back into range, and at the end of the stint, the lap times started to be a bit more competitive."
Hartley felt he could have made the first stint last longer, but even after his pitstop he fell down the order behind both Williams cars and had to make his way back through the pack.
After dispatching the Williams pair, he could feel traction issues were rearing their head once again and found it difficult to progress any further after getting stuck behind Sauber's Marcus Ericsson. The 28-year old found it puzzling after describing the STR13 as a car which had been good on its tyres all season long.
"I could have stayed out a bit longer, but when we pitted, I was out behind both Williams," added Hartley. "It took me quite a few laps to get past Lance Stroll. I did a good overtake on Sirotkin, and then I was stuck behind Marcus Ericsson.
"I had a lot more pace, but with the traction issues that I had, I couldn’t make the overtake, and I started to suffer with the blisters on the tyre at the end. I believe the other car had the same problem and suffered big time.
"We’ve been quite good on tyres all year, and this race was quite the opposite. First the rear axle on the first stint on my car, and then both cars having blisters on the second stint.
"So yeah, a bit of understanding to do so I can understand exactly why that happened, but yeah, I think we’re clearly disappointed not to have any car in the points after such a promising qualifying."