It was a positive opening day of the 2015 Formula 1 season for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in Australia, with Carlos Sainz Jr placing inside the top seven in both sessions, while Max Verstappen showed good pace only to suffer some mechanical issues in the afternoon session.
2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Sainz Jr was fourth fastest in the opening session, and seventh in the second as he adapted to life in the pinnacle of single seater motorsport in a positive manner. He admitted he had been looking forward to his first day as an official Formula 1 driver for a long time.
“I’m happy with today, I had been waiting for this day for a very long time and it was definitely a decent first day,” insisted Sainz.
“We covered a lot of mileage, which was obviously our target for today as I am a rookie and new to this circuit. I enjoyed it a lot out there. Now we need to go through all the data we gathered today and keep improving.
“I feel very comfortable in the car. It’s a challenging track, but I like it and all in all it’s been a positive day.”
Team-mate Verstappen finished sixth quickest in opening practice but was restricted to only six laps in the afternoon session due to a problem with his STR10’s battery, but felt his first official day as a fully-fledged Formula 1 driver was a constructive and encouraging one.
“This morning we were able to complete many laps and it was good for me to get used to the track,” said Verstappen.
“It was a useful first practice and I was able to understand the car a bit more. I also didn’t make any mistakes, so that was good.
“This afternoon unfortunately we were not able to spend much time out on track due to a battery issue. The team pushed very hard to send me out again but we ran out of time.
“It wasn’t the best end to the day, but we will check the data tonight and hopefully we can make the best out of tomorrow’s third and final practice session before my first ever qualifying session.”