Daniel Ricciardo was relieved to finally get some race simulation work in after a tricky test for Toro Rosso in Barcelona. The team have struggled to complete any long runs on the Pirelli slick tyres due to the poor weather but Ricciardo feels the work done on the final day has left them much better prepared for Australia.
“We had some shorter runs to do in the morning, during which we tried most of the tyre compounds, while getting through all the items on our job sheet. In the afternoon we managed a few long runs, which was good, as we hadn’t done many at this test, because of the bad weather. I think we learned a bit there. I’m now looking forward to Australia and hope that we’ll be able to produce some good speed at my home race.”
Head of Vehicle Performance Laurent Mekies admits he would like to have seen the team rack up more laps than they have but isn’t worried by that heading into the opening race.
“As the STR8 is fundamentally a new car, with plenty of crucial changes for example on the suspension, on the aero side and in terms of the architecture of the car, we had a very big work load to tackle this month in Spain. Even if we did not win any records for high mileage, we got through a lot of work over the three weeks on track, during which the car ran reliably, with no serious issues. Apart from our car, the other new element was the Pirelli tyres, which have different characteristics to last year’s. Getting a full understanding of how the new rubber works is something that will take longer than we had expected. Alongside these challenges, the growth of our team has involved the introduction of some new engineers and a revised organisational structure and that too was being tested over these twelve days, so it’s been a case of a very different team and a very different car.”