Toro Rosso: An unusual qualifying session
18 November, 2012
Nov.18 (Toro Rosso) Team and drivers report from the United States Grand Prix Qualifying, Round 19 of the FIAFormula One World Championship, at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Jean-Eric Vergne (STR7-02):
Third Practice Session Best lap: 1:39.689, pos. 18th, 12 laps
Qualifying Best lap: (Q1) 1:38.434, (Q2) 1:37.879, pos. 14th
“I think the team has worked well so far this weekend to produce a car that seems a bit more competitive than in the past few races. It doesn’t mean much that I beat my team-mate today, because he had some difficulties in the first session. Maybe I could have got a bit more out of the car this afternoon, perhaps found a couple of tenths. After going over the kerbs and damaging the suspension this morning, I obviously lost some track time and without that, I might have had a better understanding of the tyres. However, as I said before, the car feels good, there are plenty of overtaking opportunities here so my plan tomorrow is to go hunting for some more points.”
Daniel Ricciardo (STR7-04):
Third Practice Session Best lap 1:38.547, pos. 15th, 23 laps
Qualifying Best lap: (Q1) 1:39.114, pos. 18th
“That was a difficult and frustrating session for me. We knew it would take a long time for the tyres to come in, especially as the asphalt is still so slippery. We never really got them to work properly as I got stuck in traffic in the early part and then came the yellow flags when I was about to try for my last two laps. It meant I never got a clean run. This is one of my worst qualifying performances of the season, the first time I haven’t made it to Q2 for seven races, so I just want to put it behind me now and aim to have a better Sunday, which should be entirely within our capabilities.”
Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer):“Overall, this was an unusual qualifying session as after yesterday, everyone knew they would have to do a lot of laps to get the best out of the tyres. Q1 was very tight and in Daniel’s case he was unfortunate to be trying for his best lap just as the yellow flags came out, so he did not make the cut into Q2. Jev did a good job this afternoon to outpace both Saubers and Rosberg. All the teams spent a lot of time working out how to get the best out of the Medium Pirellis in qualifying trim and maybe a bit less time thinking about the race, which could make for an interesting afternoon tomorrow. Our starting position certainly does not rule us out of fighting for points. Although it is the most likely scenario, a one stop strategy is not inevitable, because no one has that much long run data from Friday and we have never raced here before.”
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