Toro Rosso had a trouble-free day of practice at the Hungaroring today as the team tested new parts.
“It was a useful day, as we tested many elements and got a lot of information to analyse,” said Jaime Alguersuari, who finished the day fifteenth fastest. The Spaniard expects the upgrades to to translate into better performance as the weekend goes on.
“Because we were evaluating some new components today, I expect us to make more progress tomorrow morning in terms of improving the set-up and balance of the car. I did a good long run, which is useful in terms of Sunday's race.
“As far as our pace is concerned, at this stage I would say the upgrades we have are an improvement and I hope that translates into a better qualifying performance than usual. Traction and braking seems quite good and the main difficulty I am having is mid-corner as the softer tyres had some graining on the fronts during my long run. We need to think about that in terms of what it means for the race.”
Sebastien Buemi finished the day seventeenth fastest, but the fact that he reverted back to the older components for a back-to-back comparison with his teammate may well have something to do with the fact that he was off Alguersuari’s pace.
“We had a busy programme, evaluating various parts on the car and in the second session, I reverted to some of the older components while Jaime stayed on the new one, to get a clearer picture,” explained the Swiss driver. “Now we have to study the data carefully, because at the moment, it is hard to tell what improvement the new parts bring.
“We had no technical issues, so we ran trouble free in both sessions, which means we have a clear understanding of the tyres. As usual here on the first day, the problem is that you do not get much grip from the tyres because the track surface is dirty, so at first we struggled a bit, although this afternoon on the Option tyre, the grip level clearly improved. But we still need to work on improving the rear end grip for tomorrow.”
Laurent Mekies said that the team were very pleased to get a dry day in Budapest. “It's good that we got a full day of dry weather, given that there were a few showers in the surrounding area, as it helped our aero evaluation work,” said the Toro Rosso chief engineer.
“Apart from that it was the usual Friday work list: we evaluated the two types of tyre and they both performed very consistently. The rest of the time was spent on set-up work, with the usual trade off of very long runs, which we did with Jaime and single lap performance.”