Key happy with STR qualifying performance

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Singapore, Marina Bay Street Circuitsg

On his first outing with the Scuderia Toro Rosso, technical director James Key said he was happy with the performance of his new team. Both drivers made especially good progress overnight together with the engineers to ensure better balance and pace of the cars.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR7-04:
FP3: Best lap 1:50.664, pos. 13th, 16 laps
Q: Best lap: (Q1) 1:49.023, (Q2) 1:48.774, pos. 15th
“I was actually happier with my best lap in Q1 than I was with my best effort in Q2, therefore I had been hoping to be a little bit further up the grid, maybe jumping both the Saubers, but this position is not too bad and overall, I’d say we’re making progress. Certainly, thanks to the work we did overnight, the car was better in FP3 than it was yesterday, so I hope we can have another good race tomorrow, on a track where we know anything can happen.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR7-03:
FP3: Best lap: 1:51.059, pos. 17th, 17 laps
Q: Best lap: (Q1) 1:49.564, (Q2) 1:48.849, pos. 16th
“For my first time in Singapore, I feel I can be satisfied with the way qualifying went this evening. Ever since Monza, I have had to deal with some neck pain and I managed that situation well, so that I could deal with all the kerbs and bumps at this track. Finishing within a tenth of my team-mate, who has raced here before is another reason for me to be pleased with my performance, when I consider I was over a second slower than him yesterday. It’s a long race tomorrow, during which I expect to improve even more and I really hope we can make the most of any opportunity that comes our way.”

James Key, Technical Director:
“After Friday, we had to refine the direction we were working in, especially for the Option tyre in Daniel’s case, while Jev was struggling a bit with braking stability. It’s his first time at this track and he had a huge amount to learn, considering how long and technical it is. Then overnight, both drivers and their engineers managed to make a good step forward, particularly for Jean-Eric, so that the car seemed reasonably well balanced in FP3. In Qualifying, we felt we could have been one place further up, even if Q3 was unlikely. But we are only a few tenths off those ahead of us and as this is typically an eventful race, we will be looking to capitalise on our race performance. Most important, both drivers have kept it clean all weekend, so well done to both of them and especially to Jean-Eric for learning it so quickly.”