Toro Rosso: It was a difficult day for us

26 July, 2013

Toro Rosso team and drivers report from the first practice day of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, at Hungaroring near Budapest.

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)

  • First Practice Session Best lap: 1:24.204, pos. 14th, 15 laps
  • Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:23.369, pos. 16th, 34 laps

“In the morning, I tried the car with the new updates the team has introduced this weekend. We had some doubts as to how it was working, so in the afternoon, we returned in some areas to our previous specification to do a check. Performance wise, we were definitely too slow today, so I expect we will need to make big changes on the car for tomorrow. I was overheating the rear tyres too much, which gave me a lot of understeer on the long runs and we were far from feeling comfortable today. A lot of work will be needed to make us more competitive for the rest of the weekend. The tyres are obviously very important in these conditions and we need to find out how to get the best out of them, as I was not very happy with their performance on both the long and the short runs.”

Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-04)

  • First Practice Session Best lap: 1:24.383, pos. 17th, 24 laps
  • Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:23.411 pos.17 th, 40 laps

“We were optimistic at the start of the morning, because we had quite a few new developments on the car. However, we were unable to get the best out of them on track. We hope they will make the car quicker but it seems it is going to take a bit more study to get them producing their best results on track. We need to do more work on the set-up, but we have been in this situation before, so I expect that after a long debrief and more work this evening, we will be able to make progress in time for tomorrow. On the tyre front, we are seeing the usual difference between Option and Prime and in terms of the developments introduced by Pirelli, they appear to be working fine, which is positive.”

Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance):“It was a difficult day for us. We had quite a few new elements to try, both on the aerodynamic and suspension side, so we spent our day trying to learn about our new packages, splitting some of the tasks between the two cars and others just using one car. These updates are part of our car development programme and not just intended for the Hungaroring. It is clear we still have some way to go to understand how everything is working and we were not as competitive as we expected. By studying the data tonight, we must try and see where we have lost absolute pace. We will be looking to see which of our updates worked and which didn’t so we can decide on which ones to continue with for the rest of the weekend, when it comes to establishing our set-up for tomorrow. Apart from this busy car development programme, we also had a lot of work to do on the tyre front, as that will be a key factor in the hot conditions this weekend. Therefore we spent more time looking at their behaviour over a long run.” (Toro Rosso)

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