Jean-Eric Vergne is planning to make “big changes” in order to improve the performance of his Toro Rosso after sixteenth in practice on Friday. The Frenchman pinpointed the tyres as the main source for his woes today and is hoping for much better tomorrow.
“In the morning, I tried the car with the new updates the team has introduced this weekend. We had some doubts as to how it was working, so in the afternoon, we returned in some areas to our previous specification to do a check. Performance wise, we were definitely too slow today, so I expect we will need to make big changes on the car for tomorrow. I was overheating the rear tyres too much, which gave me a lot of understeer on the long runs and we were far from feeling comfortable today. A lot of work will be needed to make us more competitive for the rest of the weekend. The tyres are obviously very important in these conditions and we need to find out how to get the best out of them, as I was not very happy with their performance on both the long and the short runs.”
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo didn’t fare any better, ending the day in seventeenth, but the Australian is keeping a positive frame of mind heading into the weekend.
“We were optimistic at the start of the morning, because we had quite a few new developments on the car. However, we were unable to get the best out of them on track. We hope they will make the car quicker but it seems it is going to take a bit more study to get them producing their best results on track. We need to do more work on the set-up, but we have been in this situation before, so I expect that after a long debrief and more work this evening, we will be able to make progress in time for tomorrow. On the tyre front, we are seeing the usual difference between Option and Prime and in terms of the developments introduced by Pirelli, they appear to be working fine, which is positive.”