Toro Rosso bet on wet weather car set-up

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Toro Rosso rounded off their qualifying in the best possible way by qualifying in 16th and 17th positions. There was nothing more to do as the team chose to set both cars up for a wet weather race, compromising raw qualifying pace.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR7-04:
FP3: Best lap 1:14.687, pos. 16th, 21 laps
Q: Best lap: (Q1) 1:16.744, (Q2) 1:14.574, pos. 16th
“Today, we ran at more or less the same pace we had since the start of Friday. When the rain came just at the start, I was hoping it would stay, as I feel we have a better chance in the wet. In fact, given the forecast, that’s the reason, I’ve opted for a set-up that will favour those conditions tomorrow. This afternoon was mostly a battle with my team-mate and I don’t think I could have got any further up the order. If our bet pays off and it does rain, then we can definitely fight for some points tomorrow.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR7-02:
FP3: Best lap: 1:14.972, pos. 17th, 19 laps
Q: Best lap: (Q1) 1:16.722, (Q2) 1:14.619, pos. 17th
“It wasn’t too bad, given that I had struggled to find the best set-up since yesterday. In qualifying, the car was the best it has been all weekend. Maybe I could have been a tiny bit faster, even if I did not make any mistakes, but probably not enough to improve my position. Our car definitely felt better when the track conditions were cooler, which is encouraging for tomorrow when we can expect it to be even cooler and wet at times. I feel we can have a good race tomorrow and be opportunistic if the rain comes. We will try everything, we have nothing to lose and I want to finish my first season with a good result.”

Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer:
“It was an entertaining Q1 with changeable conditions as the track was damp at first in some parts of the circuit. Both our drivers managed to make the cut into Q2, even if it was very tight in terms of lap time. By the time we started Q2, we were back to the usual dry track. Unfortunately, in these conditions we are trailing behind the other mid-field runners, even if the gap to those directly ahead is actually quite small. Tomorrow, we are expecting very changeable weather during the race and we feel we will find better race pace, especially in the wet. There are some cars not too far ahead of us and we have seen in nearly all the past races when we have started behind them, that we have managed to get ahead and score points by the end of the afternoon. It’s bound to be an exciting race as always here, in which anything can happen and we must be ready to grab any opportunity that comes our way.”