Toro Rosso: We struggled with a general lack of grip

Nov.2 (Toro Rosso) Drivers and team review the first day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, Round 18 of the 2012 Formula 1 world championship, at Yas Marina Circuit.

Daniel Ricciardo (STR7-04)
First Practice Session – Best lap 1:46.649, pos. 17th, 24 laps
Second Practice Session – Best lap: 1:44.260, pos. 17th, 27 laps
“At the start of FP1, grip or the lack of it was a problem, but we improved the car in between the two sessions and while the short runs went okay, the long run was not as successful. Generally we were off the pace today. The heat? It’s not as bad as Singapore and no problem to deal with.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR7-01)
First Practice Session – Best lap: 1:46.708, pos. 18th, 26 laps
Second Practice Session – Best lap: 1:45.005, pos. 18th, 19 laps
“It was nice to be back here, at this circuit that I know better than any other on the Formula 1 calendar, at the wheel of this car. It was an enjoyable day out on track, however, I had a problem on the car this evening which lost me some track time. We seem to suffer from a general lack of performance, which I think stems from not having enough downforce. But we have been in this situation before on a Friday and managed to recover for Saturday and especially for Sunday, so we just need to work hard tonight on seeing how best to move forward.”

Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer):“It was a difficult and yet productive day for us. We struggled with a general lack of grip, although we made progress on this front between the two sessions. However, we think there is quite a bit more to find before we can achieve a good car balance, which will allow our drivers to push harder than they can at the moment. That is what we will be working on tonight. Jev lost 20 minutes towards the end of the second session, with a front suspension issue. We chose to take our time to check it out thoroughly, before sending him out again at the end. We tend to move forward from Friday to Saturday in terms of balance, so we hope that we can again find some solutions for tomorrow. At least we gathered plenty of data in the first session, so we have something to work with to recover some of the pace that was lacking today.”