Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne both admit the team need to find more pace if they are to avoid Q1 elimination tomorrow in Australia. Ricciardo was the quicker of the two this afternoon in fourteenth place and although that was a vast improvement from the morning, he still doesn’t feel the STR8 is at the level they hoped.
“In FP1 it was soon clear that in terms of balance and set-up we were not where we wanted to be so we made some changes and they helped. I definitely feel we made progress from morning to afternoon, but not enough, so there is more to do overnight to find more pace. It’s nice to be racing at home in Australia again, which is an added incentive to work really hard to get the car to go quicker and give the fans something to cheer about on Sunday.”
Teammate Vergne was three seconds off the ultimate pace in seventeenth although he is less concerned about the car’s race pace around Albert Park.
“It’s really nice to be back on track for the first Grand Prix, the first day of practice and I’m happy to be back in the car. The most obvious change from winter testing has been the higher temperatures and this meant the tyres have worked much better today than they did in Spain. We have quite a bit of work to do to get closer to those ahead and I feel we currently lack some speed. However, our long runs looked pretty good and the balance of the car was okay.”