The Toro Rosso drivers were reasonably happy with their performance in Friday practice today in Barcelona as Sebastien Buemi finished the day thirteenth and team-mate Jaime Alguersuari was fifteenth.
Buemi sat out the morning session as reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo took over driving duties. The Swiss driver is optimistic of a good weekend.
“A completely different experience to our winter testing here of course, with much slower lap times because of the higher temperatures and we know these tyres react very differently in this heat,” said Buemi. “Even though this was just a half day for me, I was able to run a lot and I am quite happy because we have a lot of data to analyse, so it will be a long evening.
“The main problem, which I think affected everyone today, was a lot of oversteer and we saw a big difference between the hard and soft tyres, probably the biggest we have seen all year. Tomorrow, I will have a nice fresh engine so I think we can move forward and the rest of the weekend should be positive for us.”
Despite taking part in the morning session, Alguersuari was limited to just nine laps during that 90 minute period thanks to engine issues. However, he managed 34 laps this afternoon, and was happy with his efforts.
“It was a shame that I lost track time this morning, but we made up for it later,” commented the Spaniard. “In the afternoon I got a good feeling from the car, especially on a long run, producing some quite good lap times given I was running used hard tyres. When I was trying to do a quick lap, I got caught up in traffic, but overall I am optimistic. Having two test sessions here in the winter did not really help much today as the car has evolved and the track conditions are very different now.”
Daniel Ricciardo was again impressive this morning, finishing that session as the twelfth fastest driver. The Australian rookie was pleased to drive a track that he already knew well. “I think my experience in World Series and previous classes at this circuit helped me more than the winter test I did here, when I only got one run on slick tyres in damp conditions,” he suggested. “All the same, I enjoyed being at the first track of this season that I know really well, which made it easier to put in some decent lap times straight away.
“It was a straightforward session and useful to have the extra set of Primes from Pirelli. We tried altering the mechanical balance of the car which delivered improvements in some areas, such as braking, giving a small overall performance gain.”