Toro Rosso had a tricky Friday in Brazil as Sebastien Buemi had a minor brake problem in the afternoon practice session and Jaime Alguersuari struggled with the balance of his car for much of the day.
The two drivers finished the day down in seventeenth and eighteenth (Buemi ahead of Alguersuari), and each are hoping that the rain forecast for qualifying tomorrow could help them improve their grid positions.
“The day went quite smoothly, apart from a problem with the brakes at the start of the afternoon session,” said Buemi. “When you brake at the end of the straight and the pedal goes long, it's not a nice feeling so I came straight back to the pits. Well done to the team for fixing the problem so quickly. After that I was able to finish my programme, getting a good read on the tyres over the long run with both the Option and the Prime tyres.
“They say it will rain tomorrow, which means it will be a completely different story. We now need to look for ways in which we can improve for tomorrow.”
Alguersuari was much less satisfied with the handling of his car: “This was a difficult day in which I struggled with understeer and oversteer and currently we don't look very competitive in the dry, so we must see what we can do to improve as I was not so happy with the balance of the car. But things could be better for us if the rain comes tomorrow as predicted.”
The Spaniard had a brush with Michael Schumacher towards the end of the day as the Mercedes driver tried to overtake him around the outside of Turn 1. The pair touched as Schumacher moved back towards the racing line, but Alguersuari insists thathe was completely innocent: “As for the incident with Schumacher, I had spun at the previous corner and so he came alongside me on the outside going into Turn 1. I tried to keep my inside line as he came round but all the same we touched.”
Chief Engineer Laurent Mekies summarised the team’s day: “We completed our programmes with both cars, making up for lost time after we had a brake system issue on Sebastien's car this afternoon. We tried a lot of different things across both cars, with Sebastien much happier with the balance than Jaime. Now we must look at the data from both cars and take the best elements from each of them to move forward tomorrow.
“However, we have to bear in mind that we are heading for a wet Qualifying and any decisions we reach regarding set-up has to take this into consideration, allowing for the fact it should be dry again on Sunday.”