Last year, the Chinese weekend did not go so well for Toro Rosso.
Jean-Eric Vergne (First Practice Session, Best lap: 1:39.057, pos. 12th, 19 laps / Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:38.127, pos. 15th, 34 laps): “Last year, the Chinese weekend did not go so well for us and I can say we have made a better start this time round.
We will look at the data from both cars in order to find the best set-up to move forward tomorrow, so that we can have a better car. I am quite confident we can be quicker.
As expected, it looks as though the tyres will have a tough time here, especially the Softs, but it’s the same for everyone, so no real concern there.”
Daniel Ricciardo (First Practice Session, Best lap: 1:39.336, pos. 15th, 19 laps - Second Practice Session, Best lap: 1:37.206, pos. 14th, 39 laps): “We were a little bit pessimistic coming here after how we performed in this race last year. But after today, I am feeling happier, because we definitely look to be in better shape this time.
Another good point is that we made progress between FP1 and FP2 today. It’s still not enough if we want to catch our closest rivals, but we are moving in the right direction.
As for the tyres, the Soft was very good over a single flying lap and I was quite happy with the performance advantage it produced compared to the Prime.
On the longer runs the tyres suffer a bit more and there are already plenty of marbles on the track, but we always expected to see quite high degradation here.”
Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “Overall it was a positive day for us, generally trouble free, with both drivers completing a lot of kilometres. This was important for our test programme where we had a few minor things to evaluate, both on the mechanical side and in terms of aero.
It was also good in terms of building confidence in our reliability levels. It was a busy and full programme completed with both cars, with some of the programme split between the two drivers.
Overnight, we therefore will study the data carefully to select the best aspects from the two cars. This afternoon, Jev was slightly less happy than in the morning and we will also investigate that, but in general, we are making some progress and we hope to continue in that direction tomorrow.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso