Toro Rosso: We have made an encouraging start

Toro Rosso and Honda report from the first day of preseason testing at Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship.

  • Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya
  • Driver: Brendon Hartley – Car: STR13-02
  • Best time: 1:22.371 – Laps: 93

Brendon Hartley: “It was a really positive day. We had no issues at all but we stopped early because of the weather, it was almost icy conditions out there. Everything felt pretty good from out of the box, we had some test items that we didn’t get to complete because of the weather, but getting through 93 laps on the first day of testing was a great start to the campaign with the new Toro Rosso-Honda (partnership). Balance-wise, we were pretty comfortable straight away but I still think there’s potential to unlock. I’m really happy with how the day went, I think everyone probably struggled with tyres, but doing one corner slow the tyres drop out of the window and it was almost like an ice-skating rink. It’s quite a challenging day to get the tyres working in the window all the time. I think we learnt a lot and set ourselves up nicely for the rest of the test, probably more so next week when the weather gets a bit better. The driveability of the engine is one of the best I’ve driven in a Formula 1 car, so it was really positive in all aspects. Absolutely no complaints from me. “


James Key, Technical Director: “It’s great to go testing after a long winter of preparation and get the new car running on track. I think the priority for today, and for this week, has been predominantly mileage accumulation for checking the reliability of the car itself, giving the drivers plenty of opportunity to learn about the car and to cover some ground with preparation for the start of the season. This is an important preparation period for the drivers, which they didn’t get the opportunity to cover last year. We will also be going through the fundamentals of the new tyres, car set up, aero performance etc in this first week and we started this today in a positive way. We got through the majority of the test programme which was ultimately curtailed by the tricky weather conditions in the afternoon. However we covered a lot of laps with no major problems, we have worked well and proactively with our colleagues at Honda over the last 6 months and we can be pleased by the encouraging start we have made.”

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: “I feel happy that we were finally able to bring the car on track here in Barcelona after a busy winter. We did not complete our entire planned programme for today, but that was simply because we did fewer laps than we could have done this afternoon, due to the very low temperatures and drizzle which affected track conditions. However, I am pleased with the work completed and 93 laps is a respectable total.”

“Although we have only been working with Toro Rosso for a relatively short period of time, the development has gone ahead according to plan thanks to both partners communicating very closely together. I think we are all working very well as a team now and I appreciate the hard efforts made by all the staff in Italy, UK and Japan.”

“Today, on the first day of testing, we went through all the usual function checks on the car, as well as the operational checking of the team’s work flow, as we are obviously a new team with a new car. We have seven more days of testing and it is important to do as many laps as possible in that time, to develop the car as a package, focusing on being well prepared for Melbourne.”