Toro Rosso drivers stunned by heat

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Malaysia, Sepang International Circuitmy

Both Toro Rosso drivers make their debut at Malaysia, and as such it is the first time they can 'enjoy' the heat and humidity at Sepang. Nonetheless, both drivers practiced a lot on the simulator beforehand and made good progress after FP1.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR7-01:
FP1: Best lap 1:40.469, pos. 18th, 23 laps
FP2: Best lap: 1:38.853, pos. 5th, 33 laps
“I’ve driven here before in Formula BMW, but when you switch to a Formula 1 car, the notes go out the window! But all the same, it helps to have some previous track experience. The simulator work has probably been more useful to me. The track is quite technical and I think we made a good step forward this afternoon, compared to the morning which was quite difficult. Much of our work today centred on adapting the car to the very different track characteristics here compared to Melbourne and the biggest difference of course is the temperature. The tyres have to work harder in these conditions and therefore getting the car balance right is crucial.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR7-03:
FP1: Best lap: 1:40.099, pos. 16th, 23 laps
FP2: Best lap: 1:39.297, pos. 8th, 33 laps
“Since last year, I’ve driven the track at the simulator a lot, but they don’t have the heating turned to maximum in Milton Keynes! Overall, I think today went well for us, I had a strong long run this afternoon, when my pace was good and Daniel’s lap time shows we have a good car. I feel quite confident and happy with how things are going. Obviously, I am experiencing the heat and humidity for the first time, but I expect to get more used to it as the weekend goes on, so I have no concerns for the race from the physical point of view.”

Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer:
“Another positive Friday, after the one we had in Melbourne. Today was more straightforward than last week, because the weather conditions were stable with a dry track. We had a few aero elements to evaluate in the morning and then in the afternoon, we worked on set-up. We spent quite a lot time evaluating the two compounds with both drivers in different conditions. Jean-Eric and Daniel did well, completing more than a race distance in both cars, in these hot conditions. Tonight’s task is to make the best use of all the data we have gathered, converting it into more performance for Saturday and Sunday.”