Wind direction impacts Toro Rosso performance

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Toro Rosso undured another difficult qualifying session as the weather played to its disadvantage. The wind direction completely changed the car's balance and made it unable to do well. On top of that, Jean-Eric Vergne had a rear brake failure and fire that will require a lot of work to repair before tomorrow's race.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-01, 16th: “That wasn’t a good session for us, which is disappointing as yesterday was one of the best Fridays we have had in a while. The wind has played a bit of a part today, but we definitely should have been further up than that. I would have liked a better result of course, but we will have to see what we can do in the race. I just wasn’t happy with the balance of the car. Jev’s problem? I heard about it, but from what I’ve been told there’s no reason for me to be concerned about it for the race, as everything was fine on my car.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-03, 18th: “As I was going out of the pits, my engineer was on the radio to me, so I had to wait until the middle of sector 1 before I could tell him something. I thought I had an engine problem, but then I realised the rear brakes were stuck. I tried to brake and there was nothing in the pedal, then I saw the fire and had to stop the car. The team will have a lot of work to do tonight, because it took quite a while for the fire to be out. Hopefully the main components are undamaged, the engine and gearbox, but there will be many things to change. I am fine, apart from getting a bit of fire extinguisher material in my helmet. All this bad luck? I just hope that I have used up all my share of it for next year too. It won’t be an easy race starting from this far back, especially as it is not so easy to overtake at Suzuka.”

James Key, Technical director: “Yesterday we were happy with the balance of the car. Today, the wind direction changed completely and that affected the balance, particularly in Sector 1, although, in Daniel’s case we were still happy with the rest of the lap. Jev picked up quite a bit of performance today and was increasingly happy with the car going through FP3. For qualifying, we made a few additional changes to try and help the balance in Sector 1, but we still could not get the car to work as well here as in the rest of the lap. Unfortunately, just when Jev expected to make up a big chunk of time on the Option tyre, his car developed a rear brake circuit problem, with the resultant fire. However, his car is fully repairable for tomorrow’s race.”