Toro Rosso run a trouble-free opening day of practice at the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz completing a total of 51 laps and Max Verstappen completing 50.
Sainz would finish the two sessions in eighth and fifteenth respectively as he used the time to learn the track, “We managed to go through today’s plan with no issues, so I’m happy with that.” he said.
“FP1 was all about learning the track. I felt quite comfortable from the very beginning and was able to build-up on that. It’s a nice track, I like driving here, it’s challenging and different to other circuits, which is good. FP2 was more focussed on tyre life and performance.”
The only thing that Sainz admits could have been better is if there hadn’t have been a red flag in the second session.
“Unfortunately, during the Option run the red flag spoiled our short run, but when we went back out to complete the long run I felt good. Everything is very close here, it’s going to be a tight fight this weekend, but we are ready for it.”
Max Verstappen continued his steep learning curve as he finished in twelfth and fourteenth, “It was a bit of a difficult day today, to be honest. I wasn’t really happy with the balance of the car in FP1, so we tried to improve it for FP2.
“It was better but we still need to find a bit more pace. Of course, we were also not able to complete the ideal lap this afternoon because when we went out the red flag came out. There’s definitely room for improvement and hopefully we can do a better job tomorrow. I like driving here, it’s a technical track and quite challenging, but that’s what I like.”
Chief Race Engineer Phil Charles said “Our long run pace is relatively better than our short run pace, but we’ve got a lot of work to do tonight. It’s a tricky track, both in terms of setting the car up and for the drivers, so we know we’ve got to look in both directions.
“We’ll help them where we can but we’ve got to kick hard now and make the car easier to drive. We will sit down and do our homework now and try and make everything a little bit better, kinder on the drivers, and the short run will hopefully come up quite nicely then. We’re not as happy as we have been recently, but it’s only Friday so we still have time to get back to where we know we can be.”