“To finish FP1 on top was something special” – Carlos Sainz


Scuderia Toro Rosso endured a tough day at Suzuka as the rain disrupted the two Free Practice sessions of the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

Carlos Sainz topped the timesheets in the first session and completed a total of 10 laps before finishing in seventh in the second session with just six laps. “Overall it was a good day and there’s a lot of positives to take from today.” said the Spaniard.

“Even though it’s been raining all day and we haven’t been able to complete any laps in dry conditions, I managed to learn the track quickly and showed some good pace. To finish FP1 on top was also something special, as it’s the first time I lead a Formula 1 practice session.

“The track is amazing, very challenging, and even more in the wet! I had a lot of fun out there and I hope we can continue like this the rest of the weekend.” he added.

Team-mate Max Verstappen completed a total of 15 laps over the two sessions finishing in sixth and eighth respectively and while the results were positive in the wet he admitted that it would have been better dry.

“It’s a shame that it’s been raining all day, as it would’ve been good to spend more time out on track” said Verstappen. “However, we did some running in the wet and the car felt good. I think we learned quite a bit and have a lot of data that will be useful if it also rains on Sunday during the race.

“We know that normally we have a decent pace in the wet and it’s always enjoyable to drive in these conditions. I’m now looking forward to tomorrow, when hopefully we will have some dry running and have lots of fun at this great track.”

Chief Race Engineer Phil Charles admitted that it was a tough track for their two rookie drivers to take on, “Max ran here last year in FP1 in the dry but neither have run here in the wet, or in fact have had that much wet running this year. So it was pleasing to see them both settling in well in wet conditions this morning.

“Carlos had a particularly strong session considering he has not run here before. Both drivers learnt the track in these difficult conditions quite quickly. They also managed to negotiate the rivers in sector 1 without any worry. Unfortunately the afternoon’s FP2 session did not run as cleanly as FP1, with several small problems which curtailed running on both cars.

“Nonetheless we still ticked off a few boxes on the program list when we did run and we have gathered a bit more info on the Inter tyres. To that end, we know we have got a little bit of work to do with the car balance overnight if there is further wet running this weekend, mainly to improve the tyre management. It will be interesting to see how the drivers and car are in the dry.”