Jean-Eric Vergne believes Toro Rosso are in better shape than they were in 2012 after bringing his own testing programme to a close in Barcelona on Saturday. The next time Vergne will step in the STR8 will be first practice in Melbourne but he has seen enough to tell him he’ll be reasonably competitive when he gets there.
Vergne put in 114 laps today, including a simulated race distance, and has dispelled fears that tyre degradation will have a detrimental effect on the Australian Grand Prix two weeks from now.
“We got through a lot of work and it was a positive day, after the difficulties of working in the cold and wet conditions on the previous days. We can ignore the lap times, because, unlike some other teams we did not do a qualifying simulation. However, our race simulation this afternoon went well. On the tyre front, we saw a lot of degradation here in Barcelona, but I think it will be a different story when we get to Melbourne. In general, the testing has gone well and even though we still have work to do before the first race, we tested a lot of items this week. Our performance? We are definitely looking better than last year, but where we are compared to the others is still difficult to say.”