Jean-Eric Vergne: “I’m Confident we have a Competitive Car”

The Scuderia Toro Rosso team saw both Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne have good Friday practice sessions in Singapore, although Vergne’s free practice one was compromised by two mechanical issues.

Kvyat placed in the top ten in both sessions at Marina Bay, finishing ninth in FP1 and tenth in FP2, but felt there was still work to be done to enable him to get even better on Saturday.

“It was a good session, not a bad performance at the end of today’s sessions but we obviously always aim for a higher position,” said Kvyat. “Generally we are quite good on Friday evening in analysing all the data and improve the car for Saturday so we will certainly do our homework in the best possible way and be back tomorrow in a pretty good shape, with a faster car.”

Team-mate Vergne’s FP1 was compromised by issues at the beginning and the end of the session. A battery fault early was followed by an ERS failure late on, but in-between he managed to set the sixth fastest time of the session. He fell to eleventh in FP2, but overall was happy with his day’s work despite the issues.

“I’m quite happy today, even though we had a problem in FP1 which did not allow me to run that much,” said Vergne. “But the feeling was good and I’m confident that we have a competitive car this weekend.

“The lap time is not really representative as, apart from losing time on track, I didn’t complete a perfect lap but the long run pace looks pretty good. We will now do our usual work in trying to improve our already not too bad performance for tomorrow and Sunday’s race”.

Chief Race Engineer Phil Charles felt it was a good day for the team despite Kvyat having to re-learn to the track (having not raced at the circuit since 2010) and Vergne’s mechanical issues in FP1.

“Not a bad day for us,” insisted Charles. “Even though Daniil has raced here once in previous categories, this remains a hard track to learn and he’s done pretty well getting up to speed quickly. JEV has had a bit of a difficult start as we had some problems on his car in FP1. Despite this, overall we got through most of our programme with both cars.

“We are a little bit disappointed with our short run pace so we’ve got a little bit of work to do there with both drivers. As for the long runs, JEV’s pace is quite good, while Daniil still has something to do to improve it further.  I expect he will do his homework tonight like he normally does and we can make the next step. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow”.