Vettel finally gets his hands on STR3

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Sebastian Vettel finally got his hands (and his feet and his bottom) on our new car, the STR3 today, as Scuderia Toro Rosso began a three day session here in the South of France.

Apart from the usual challenges of running a new car, this test is further complicated by the fact the first two days are held on a tight, short track designed to simulate the streets of Monaco, while the final day is played out on a layout with a far longer straight, so that teams can work on their Canada settings. There were a few teething problems that restricted running in the morning, including a faulty timing transponder, which is why our correct number of laps is 99 and not 91 as reported in other news sources.

Seb ran through all the standard new car checks: set-up, functionality, car balance, performance as well as trying both types of tyre, the "soft" and "supersoft" Bridgestones that will be available in Monaco. Despite the fact these tyres are really a bit on the soft side for the smoother but more abrasive Ricard track, Vettel was happy with the balance of the car. Tomorrow, Bourdais takes over in the cockpit.

Driver: Sebastian Vettel Best time: 1:06.372 99 laps
Chassis: STR3-01