Toro Rosso: We are pretty happy


Toro Rosso report from the first day of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, Round 3 of the Formula world championship, at Shanghai International Circuit.

Max Verstappen (STR11-01, Car 33)

  • First Practice Session Best lap: 1:40.232, pos. 10th, 13 laps
  • Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:38.268, pos. 6th, 28 laps

“This morning’s FP1 was a difficult session as you couldn’t really put a long run together because of the red flags… We were going out, then in, out, then back into the garage again; but it was good to regain confidence at this track, see what was new and get a first understanding of the car. For FP2 we were able to get a lot done and, even though there’s still some work to do tonight to improve for tomorrow, we can be satisfied with today.”

Carlos Sainz (STR11-02, Car 55)

  • First Practice Session Best lap: 1:39.676, pos 7th, 12 laps
  • Second Practice Session Best lap: 1:38.542, pos. 8th, 32 laps

“Today was another smooth Friday for us. We had no issues on the car, which meant that we could complete all our program. FP1 was quite an interrupted session because of the red flags, but this afternoon’s FP2 was very good and I end the day happy. I think it’s going to be a challenging Grand Prix for everyone and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend, especially to qualifying which is back to the old format.”

Phil Charles (Chief Race Engineer): “China is usually a real challenge. Firstly, the tyres have a very hard time and, as engineers, we are on tender hooks to see if the front-left grains badly or not. On top of this, it is very technically tricky for the drivers too and they can have a massive impact on how the tyres behave. Today lived up to those China sentiments: We saw some interesting patterns of behaviour across the 3 tyre compounds, especially in the long runs. We will be going through the data carefully tonight with the drivers to best understand how to make them work for Sunday. On our side we are pretty happy having worked through most of our program checklist and both drivers having settled in well. We will also be watching the weather forecast for tomorrow very keenly tonight as there may be some rain to give us some more entertainment!”