Team and drivers review the first day of free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03):
- First Practice Session Best lap: 1:57.084, pos. 13th, 17 laps
- Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:50.253, pos. 5th, 28 laps
“It’s really nice to be racing again after the break, especially at this fantastic track. Friday went very smoothly for us. The morning conditions were not ideal, as it was too wet for dry tyres and too dry for the rain tyres, but we still learnt something which could be useful later in the weekend, even if the tyres never got up to temperature. Then, we had a good FP2, with the car showing excellent pace over a single lap. The long run was a bit more difficult, but all the same, I feel we have a good car this weekend, whether we run in the dry or the wet. Probably one of the best first days I’ve had: there were no problems and the car seems to be working well.”
Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01):
- First Practice Session Best lap: 1:56.770, pos. 9th, 14 laps
- Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:51.447, pos. 16th, 26 laps
“Conditions this morning were the ones no one really likes, with part of the track dry and part wet. We ran on Intermediates, but the dry bits of the circuit meant the tyres got a bit chewed up. In the afternoon, we split the workload between the two cars. We tried a direction on my car that we believed would work, but unfortunately it didn’t. However, the good news is that Jev seemed to be on the pace, so we can look at his data and get a useful compromise for both cars. I’m not happy to be down the bottom of the timesheet, but it’s not a reason to be discouraged, because I feel we can deliver tomorrow and aim to get both cars well up the grid.”
Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “More rain is forecast for this weekend, so this morning was a useful session in the damp, changeable conditions. More generally, it was an important day on track for the team, after two difficult race weekends in Germany and Hungary. We have been working hard to get back to where we want to be in terms of the hierarchy of the teams and today we experimented across both cars, as it is important to keep moving forward on the development of the car. This explains the difference in performance between our two drivers and so tonight we will analyse the data as usual and try and take the best of both of them. Overall, it was a good day in which we tested a lot of things and hopefully we can confirm some progress tomorrow.” (Toro Rosso)
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