Daniel Ricciardo fears Toro Rosso are going to face a tough task getting both cars into Q2 tomorrow after an uncompetitive showing on Friday at the Hungaroring. The Australian was seventeenth quickest today, just behind teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, and is concerned that there isn't enough pace in the STR7 to move up the order.
“The track seemed less dirty than usual for a Friday and there was pretty good grip this morning. They've also resurfaced the last corner and that seems to have really rubbered in a lot, which is good. I was not too displeased with the car in the morning, but in general, it is a similar story to the last few races, in that we lack pace compared to the others. We made some changes to the car in between the sessions, but they just confirmed my initial feeling that the car would not be as good, but we wanted to try it anyway, confirming that the car was actually better in FP1. There is a bit more pace to come from the car, but I'm not sure it will be enough to move up the order very much from where we are now.”
Vergne wasn't quite as downbeat after the opening day in Budapest after trying out some new upgrades but he agrees tomorrow is going to be a challenging day.
“In general, it was an okay day. We came here with some aero updates to evaluate and the test went off smoothly and my first impression is that they are working in the right direction. However, we are still suffering from a lack of speed and finding more pace in the dry is what we need to work on now to close the gap. In the short term it's going to be difficult, but we will try and find something for tomorrow, making the best of what we have. In the afternoon we tried to make the most of the rain to see what conditions could be like if we had bad weather on Sunday. But the track was partly dry and partly wet, so it was rather inconclusive.”
Chief Engineer Laurent Mekies felt it was a productive day overall, even with the rain shower in FP2, and thinks the team are well prepared whether the race is wet or dry.
“We had a few new aero parts to try: a new rear wing and a slight variation to our diffuser. The test this morning went smoothly and it has produced plenty of data for us to study now. The drivers got into their stride quickly, which helped with the work on the job sheet. In the afternoon session, before the rain arrived, we got on with our usual Friday tasks, including doing a tyre comparison. Although there is currently only a very slight risk of rain for Sunday's race, it was still worthwhile going out on track with the intermediates to judge the conditions. In fact, it seemed that part of the track was better suited to slicks and others to extreme wets, but you never know, that could happen again on Sunday so it was a useful experience.”