Toro Rosso: A constructive day

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

Team and drivers report from day one of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, Round 2 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship, at Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur.

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)
First Practice Session Best lap: 1:39.284, pos. 17th, 17 laps
Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:38.738, pos. 15th, 31 laps
“I think this was a positive day, including the reliability front which is important. We concentrated on our long run work and we got some good answers from that, which is the most important thing, rather than looking for quick lap times. Consistent times over a distance are more important. For tomorrow, we can now look at finding more pace. Tyre degradation is quite high, but we expected that and it’s the same for everybody. If it’s dry for the whole race, tyre management will be quite tricky. I didn’t learn much on the Inters, except that driving the car in the wet on a heavy fuel load is difficult! The heat? I’m fine with it.”

Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)
First Practice Session Best lap: 1:39.567, pos. 18th, 16 laps
Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:38.904, pos. 17th, 31 laps
“We learned a lot about the tyres today. In the morning, they seemed to struggle in the heat and we made some changes to help deal with that in between the two sessions. We managed to improve the balance of the car to prolong tyre life and I think we succeeded to a certain extent in doing that. We still have more work to do on that. The heat doesn’t affect the brakes much as there’s time to cool them down, but you have to watch the engine temps and also the body temperatures, because looking in the garage the guys seemed to have just come out of the shower! This is a more physical race than others and it is definitely warm, but having come here a few times, I’m prepared for it and enjoying it.”

Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance):“It was a constructive day, as we got through a lot of laps with both cars in all sorts of track conditions, so that Daniel and Jean-Eric ran three types of tyre – the Hard, Medium and Intermediates. That was useful, because past experience tells us we have to be prepared for anything in qualifying and the race. Once again, this weekend is going to be all about tyre management, so we are working hard on getting the most out of the compounds we have here. We have explored different directions in terms of set-up across both cars, so overall, we got the data we wanted. Now we must work on that tonight with the aim of getting as much performance as possible out of our package.”