Daniel Ricciardo (STR7-04 - First Practice Session: Best lap 1:29.204, pos. 9th, 24 laps - Second Practice Session: Best lap: 1:28.239, pos. 14th, 37 laps): “I enjoyed driving this track last year and it’s been even more enjoyable today in what is a quicker car than I had back then.
We were good straight out of the box this morning, so we did not make many changes in FP1 and the general balance of the car seemed quite good.
In the afternoon, it was clear that the track evolution affected the balance and we have to keep that in mind, as it will evolve even more tomorrow and we have to plan our changes on the car to take that into account.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (STR7-01 - First Practice Session: Best lap 1:30.401, pos. 17th, 23 laps - Second Practice Session: Best lap: 1:29.167, pos. 18th, 35 laps) : “Today was my first time at this track and it is really fun to drive, keeping you busy throughout the lap.
However, my pace was not that good and we definitely need to look at the data and decide what to do because we’re about a second away from where we should be.
As for the tyres, there seemed to be a big difference between the performance of the Prime and the Option, but no problems on this front.
Daniel and I ran different set-ups to evaluate various choices and clearly, what he had worked better than mine, so we will keep that in mind tonight.”
Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer): “Today went smoothly for us and we managed to get through all our planned programme on both cars. We had a few set-up directions we wanted to evaluate, some of them on the same car, others across both cars.
Overall, we are a little bit happier with the way Daniel’s car was working, while Jev also had to deal with learning this circuit for the very first time, so tonight we will work on providing him with a car he is happy with.
We know this circuit features a massive track improvement as the day goes on and we saw that again today: the tyres are lasting very well so we have no concerns on this front.”