Toro Rosso tries different approach in qualifying

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Europe, Valencia Street Circuiteu

Toro Rosso have not been happy with their pace since the very beginning of the Valencian GP weekend, and hence they have opted for a different approach to qualifying, aiming to resolve set-up issues in the forthcoming GPs. Furthermore, Ricciardo did not run new tyres in Q2, meaning he has an extra new set available during the race.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR7-04:
FP3: Best lap 1:40.134, pos. 17th, 20 laps
Q: Best lap: (Q1) 1:39.924, (Q2) 1:40.358, pos. 17th
“It was a fairly tough afternoon. After being off the pace yesterday, we made some pretty big changes to the car overnight. We managed to close the gap a little bit, but not enough to be in contention to fight with our usual competitors. So we decided not to do the second run in Q2, thus saving us some new tyres for tomorrow. We have picked up some positive information from the work we did last night and we have to keep working down that route to try and find more speed. Kovalainen getting ahead of me at the end of Q2? Given my position, it’s not so important and in fact it puts me on the clean side of the track, which could actually be better.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR7-03:
FP3: Best lap: 1:40.037, pos. 16th, 17 laps
Q: Best lap: (Q1) 1:40.203, pos. 18th
“Up until now this has been a difficult weekend in which we are suffering from a general lack of performance. I am struggling to put together a good lap, especially as I could not get a good feeling from the brakes, which meant that sometimes I was locking all four wheels. All these factors affected my qualifying and I just did not have the speed to get into Q2. For the moment, things are not going the way we want, but we will simply keep on working and not getting downhearted. Often our race pace is better than in qualifying, but I am not sure if that will be the case tomorrow.”

Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer:
“It is obvious we cannot be happy with where we are on the time sheets this weekend. The gap to our closest competitors is bigger than at the last race. Because of this, we decided to tackle qualifying in a slightly different manner to usual, to learn some lessons that could prove useful for future races, as well as focussing on tomorrow rather than this session. Already between yesterday and FP3 we made some changes to the car to and then, we made the strategic decision not to run new tyres with Daniel in Q2, Hopefully we will reap the benefit of that in the race as he now effectively has two additional sets of new Option tyres.”