Sebastien Buemi finished a remarkable seventh place in a rain affected FP1 at Hockeinheim this morning, but Toro Rosso found themselves in more familiar territory as the track dried, ending the day ahead of only the three new teams.
Buemi said that the wet track flattered the car, whilst the drying conditions showed the need for an improved set-up. “The morning session went well, as the driver can make more of a difference in the wet conditions and I was P7, looking competitive, but in the dry, we need to find a better set-up,” he said.
“Therefore, we need to work hard now, analysing the data to try and improve the car for tomorrow. We had some new elements on the car here, so we have to assess how to get the best from them. The dry tyre comparison went well and we have a pretty clear picture of how to use them.”
Jaime Alguersuari, in the other STR5, did not find the wet conditions quite as helpful, although he still completed over 80 laps today as he learned the track and trying to get the best out of the Bridgestone tyres.
“It was an interesting day, dealing with both wet and dry conditions,” said the Spaniard. “We can be reasonably satisfied, because we completed a lot of laps and I am pleased not to have made any mistakes in the wet.
“However, my lack of experience at this track meant I was unable to make the most of the super-soft Option tyre, setting my fastest lap on old tyres, so a good run on new tyres could have made a significant difference to my lap time. At least I now know the track, although my confidence was not so high in these mixed conditions.”
Laurent Mekies, the Chief Engineer at Toro Rosso, said that both tyre compounds seem to be durable, despite coming from opposite ends of the Bridgestone range. He said that Friday had gone well for the team, with no mistakes from their drivers, and a lot of laps completed.
“In the morning, we were able to evaluate the extreme wet and the intermediate tyres, working in race conditions, to see in what situations both compounds were at their best,” he explained. “Jaime even tried the dry tyres in damp conditions this morning, which is good in terms of him building experience. Overall, in these difficult conditions, the drivers made no mistakes which is another positive element.
“This afternoon, in the dry, we returned to our routine Friday work, evaluating different aero components, as well as working on car set-up on the two dry tyre compounds. Both behaved quite well and the results of running on the two rain tyres in the morning also proved that they last well on this track.”