Toro Rosso: Competition is very tight in our part of the grid

Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso STR8

Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso STR8

Toro Rosso team and drivers report from the first day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Round 1 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship.

Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)
First Practice Session – Best lap: 1:30.969, pos. 18th, 19 laps
Second Practice Session – Best lap: 1:28.627, pos. 14th, 31 laps
“In FP1 it was soon clear that in terms of balance and set-up we were not where we wanted to be so we made some changes and they helped. I definitely feel we made progress from morning to afternoon, but not enough, so there is more to do overnight to find more pace. It’s nice to be racing at home in Australia again, which is an added incentive to work really hard to get the car to go quicker and give the fans something to cheer about on Sunday.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)
First Practice Session – Best lap: 1:30.729, pos. 17th, 17 laps
Second Practice Session – Best lap: 1:28.968, pos. 17th, 36 laps
“It’s really nice to be back on track for the first Grand Prix, the first day of practice and I’m happy to be back in the car. The most obvious change from winter testing has been the higher temperatures and this meant the tyres have worked much better today than they did in Spain. We have quite a bit of work to do to get closer to those ahead and I feel we currently lack some speed. However, our long runs looked pretty good and the balance of the car was okay.”

Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance):“A busy day for everyone, finally being here in Melbourne after a series of cold and wet winter tests. This meant it was a case of discovering how our car behaves in these conditions for the first time. This was also the first day of running for us on the Supersoft tyres. We tried to complete as many laps as possible, splitting the tyre investigation for the race between the two drivers. We have a lot to do tonight to adapt the car to these new conditions, trying to ensure we get the car in the best possible performance window. As expected, the competition is very tight in our part of the grid. Our work is therefore aimed not only at finding the best possible set-up for the rest of the weekend, but also to start moving it forward for the season. In Melbourne, we can usually expect the unexpected and there is a chance of a wet qualifying, while the race here always throws up some surprises. So we must ensure we are ready for whatever circumstances we encounter.”