Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne were quick to admit that Toro Rosso are off the pace so far in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. Ricciardo was the quicker of the two today but was only seventeenth himself despite improving the car as the day went on.
“At the start of FP1, grip or the lack of it was a problem, but we improved the car in between the two sessions and while the short runs went okay, the long run was not as successful. Generally we were off the pace today. The heat? It’s not as bad as Singapore and no problem to deal with.”
Teammate Vergne was pleased to make his return to Yas Marina after taking part in young driver tests here in the past but his first appearance of a race driver was blighted by a lack of downforce.
“It was nice to be back here, at this circuit that I know better than any other on the Formula 1 calendar, at the wheel of this car. It was an enjoyable day out on track, however, I had a problem on the car this evening which lost me some track time. We seem to suffer from a general lack of performance, which I think stems from not having enough downforce. But we have been in this situation before on a Friday and managed to recover for Saturday and especially for Sunday, so we just need to work hard tonight on seeing how best to move forward.”