Singapore GP: Practice team notes - Toro Rosso


Brendon Hartley: "It was nice to experience Singapore for the first time. I had a pretty smooth day with no dramas on the car and made no mistakes, although there's some more time to find on both cars as we're still aiming to move up higher on the grid for Qualifying. I got up to speed very quickly with the track, and the tyre management on the long run looked very good, but there's still quite a bit of work to do overnight before final practice tomorrow."

Pierre Gasly: "It was a pretty difficult day for us. In terms of performance we are not as competitive as we had hoped, and at the moment we are struggling a bit with the balance. We're lacking pure performance so we need to take some time tonight to work out why, and analyse all of the data to find what's wrong so we can improve the car for tomorrow. The Singapore track is mega, especially in the night! It has so much rhythm, it's technical which challenges the driver in these hot conditions, and there's such a great atmosphere. It's really enjoyable, but at the moment I'm not feeling too great with the car, so we will work hard and try to come with some changes tomorrow to better our performance."

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): "It was a tricky afternoon and evening for us in Singapore. We came here expecting to be more competitive as the track should suit the characteristics of our car, however, the positions we found ourselves in after the practice sessions didn't reflect where we should be. Neither driver has experience at this circuit, so we prioritized giving them as many laps as possible to familiarise themselves with the track. The Singapore street circuit has more corners than any other on the F1 calendar, so it's a difficult one for the drivers to perfect. We had a number of mechanical and aero setup tests to carry out in FP1, and we obtained quite clear answers from these which gave us a good direction heading into FP2.

"Our main problem today has been extracting peak performance on the first lap from the tyres, particularly on the Hypersoft. We were the standout team as almost all others were able to get their fastest lap on Lap 1. Some of it is due to the balance of the car, which we need to continue working on for tomorrow, but the rest we believe needs to come from optimising the tyre operating conditions. We have a good idea of where to focus our attention and we have two sets of Hypersoft tyres to test these theories tomorrow in FP3, so we remain positive that we can find the single lap performance we are lacking. Our long run pace looked reasonable, but we know it's all about Qualifying performance here, so this will remain our focus tonight."

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "We had a trouble-free three hours of track time, supporting our chassis and aero colleagues as they tried different settings. Both drivers did a lot of laps, which is particularly important as neither of them has ever driven at this circuit before. That gave us plenty of data, which is useful, because as you can see from the timesheets, we still have a lot of room for improvement. We will now analyse our short and long run figures to improve several aspects of the package, including energy management."

Check out our Friday gallery from Singapore, here.

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Published: 14/09/2018
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