Toro Rosso had a busy but enjoyable Friday at Barcelona despite the difficult weather in the morning. Both drivers appeared to be satisfied with the car updates, making the team confident of chance of a strong result on Sunday.
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-03: “Earlier this week, I said I hoped we could have a positive weekend and that our updates would show signs of improvement and I have to say this is the best Friday we have had for many, many races. It’s encouraging, but we still have work to do, analysing the data overnight, to try and improve still further. But we are looking in much better shape than in previous races: I am really happy, because everyone at the factory has done a very good job over the past few weeks to prepare for this race and the next ones after that. Tyres? All seems fine at the moment.”
Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-04: “Overall, this was a pretty positive day and in the intermediate conditions in the morning, we were always in the top three or so, which looked quite good. Then, this afternoon we were also alright in the dry. I’m sure some of the teams, like McLaren will find more speed for tomorrow, but I think we can too. I expect it to be a close fight with a reasonable chance of getting into the top ten in qualifying and our long runs were also pretty good. It’s always interesting to test new components and set-ups as you have to change your driving style a bit to deal with them. The best thing today was that the team brought a lot of parts here and, even if they might have looked good in the wind tunnel, it was reassuring to feel an improvement in the car on the track, where it matters.”
Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: “It was a very busy day for us, because we had quite a lot of new parts to evaluate, mainly on the aero side. We distributed the test elements across the two cars and as far as the programme was concerned, I feel we found the right compromise between checking the new components and running a good preparation programme for the race. The rain this morning didn’t help, but of course it’s the same for everyone and anyway, it was useful to get a feel for the car in these conditions. So far, we seem to be working in the right direction, making steady progress and we got through everything with an essentially trouble free day. It’s going to be very tight with the rest of our nearest competitors, with four or five teams within the same two or three tenths. Hopefully we can be at the front end of that group tomorrow.”