Barcelona Day 1: Toro Rosso review

Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR5. Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 7 May 2010.

Sebastien Buemi

May.7 (YF1) 126 laps was the total completed by our two drivers in their STR5s sporting Money Service Group branding for the first time on track, during today’s three hours of free practice; 61 for Sébastien and 65 for Jaime, which means the engineers get plenty of what they like best – data!

In terms of performance, as always on a Friday, it’s hard to judge, so we are not reading too much into the fact that the Swiss driver ended the day in fourteenth spot and the Spaniard was seventeenth. Having said that, no doubt Red Bull Racing are probably quite happy that Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber topped the afternoon time sheet in that order. Michael Schumacher was third for Mercedes ahead of crowd favourite Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton was fifth in the McLaren, with Robert Kubica completing the top six for Renault. There was one new name on the timesheet, as Austria’s Christian Klien, recently announced as third and reserve driver for the Hispania Racing team, replaced Karun Chandhok for the morning session.

After the first four ‘flyaway’ races of the season, it’s great to be back in Europe which means the paddock is a very colourful sight with all the liveried trucks and motorhomes. One plus or minus side to all this, depending on your point of view, is that the Toro Rosso crew is getting plenty of exercise: our Energy Station is located near the top end of the paddock to reflect our sister team Red Bull Racing’s 2009 championship position, so we all have quite a walk down to our garage after every mealtime. Think how fit we will all be by the end of the year.

The Alguersuari Fan Club was out in force today, hanging a huge banner over the grandstand just opposite our pits: “Alguersuar1 Fins La Victoria Sempre!” (Alguersuari Always Pushing for Victory) and the number 1 in his name is not a misprint.

During the afternoon session, we had a very special guest in our garage, none other than Spanish MotoGP star, Dani Pedrosa, who is supported by Red Bull. If you think a lot of the F1 drivers are small, you haven’t seen Dani, which explains why he has a reputation for charging off into the lead of almost every Grand Prix, because of the advantage he has in terms of his power-to-weight ratio. The fact he is one of the best of the bunch might also have something to do with it.