Yeongam Day 1: Toro Rosso report

14 October, 2011

Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6 Test Driver.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Oct.14 (Toro Rosso) Drivers and team report on day one of the Korean Grand Prix weekend, round 16 of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship, at Yeongam circuit.

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR6-02) First Practice Session: Best lap 2.07.541, pos. 13th, 9 laps
“Free Practice 1 was the first time I have driven this car. The last time I drove a Toro Rosso was last year at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. I admit that I was not so happy when I opened the curtains this morning and saw the rain. I found this morning session quite difficult because of the very wet track conditions, although I am happy with what I have done, because I didn’t crash the car and I had some fun as well. It is difficult to judge how I did, because normally in a session like this, you get two runs with time in between to look at the data and see how to improve, but the weather meant that was not possible this morning. I had nothing to compare myself with and I definitely am not comparing my performance to any other drivers today. It was just a case of getting some experience and learning a bit more about how the team operates. Whatever the track conditions, I am pleased to have been given the opportunity, even if I did not get many laps completed. It means I will now be better prepared when I get back in the car for FP1 at Abu Dhabi.”

Jaime Alguersuari (STR6-02) Second Practice Session: Best lap 1.53.402, pos. 6th, 25 laps
“I only ran in the afternoon today, but the outcome was very positive in my opinion. The track was never completely dry and both times we tried running on slicks it did not work and we learned how long the track takes to dry. In the wet, I would say that I felt really good , even if there is still more to come from the car. You can feel that it has potential and I was particularly impressed by our pace on intermediates. It’s always hard to know the truth about what the others are doing as you don’t know what is the situation with the tyres and the fuel loads. Apparently there is some chance of a bit more rain tomorrow and in these conditions, as I said, I feel positive about our overall situation.”

Sebastien Buemi (STR6-03)
First Practice Session: Best lap 2.03.182, pos. 5th, 9 laps
Second Practice Session: Best lap: 1.53.948, pos. 9th, 27 laps
“This was a good day and the car ran reliably, even if, because of the conditions, we did not do so many laps in the morning. We have found the wet weather we remember from last year and I had a good feeling from the car in the wet today. It takes a long, long time for the track to dry and these are important lessons if we have more rain this weekend. If we have made a few mistakes today, they will be useful lessons when it comes to setting up the car for tomorrow. We have found out when we should switch from extreme to inter and vice versa and when we can change to slick, so at least we have a clear picture of the situation. We had no technical issues, so I think we should be able to make progress tomorrow from what has been a useful first day of practice.”

Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer):
“This was the first day for Jean-Eric Vergne with us and these were not exactly the dream conditions in which to make your first official appearance in the F1 championship! However, it is part of the game. We found the track in more or less the same conditions as those we left it in last year and Jean-Eric made no mistakes in very difficult conditions and it was a good first step into the team. The day was wet throughout, because even though the rain eased fairly early in the second session, the track took a while to dry. We tried dry tyres on a couple of occasions with both Jaime and Seb, but both times it was too early. However, it means we have completed what we wanted to do in terms of wet set-up evaluation. Now, it will be a case of trying to put together a good compact programme for tomorrow, assuming we will get some dry weather for tomorrow morning.”


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