Formula 1 in China 2018 from Scuderia Toro Rosso

Chinese GP - Free Practice

April 13, 2018

First day on the track, in Shanghai. Here are our drivers and team's reactions after Free Practice 1 and 2.

Pierre Gasly (STR13-04, Car 10)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:36.037, pos. 11th, 21 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:34.849, pos. 12th, 33 laps

"Today was my first time driving around Shanghai and it was a good day overall. It was nice to discover the track and drive on the real thing rather than the simulator or PlayStation! I think it was positive overall, the midfield is super tight and we are kind of in the middle at the moment. There are a couple of teams who seem to be quite fast here so we need to work hard tonight to improve for tomorrow, also for myself because I think I can improve a bit. I will work hard and study the data tonight, hopefully we can find some extra pace tomorrow to be more in the fight with the other midfield teams."

Brendon Hartley (STR13-03, Car 28)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:36.715, pos. 16th, 23 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:35.333, pos. 15th, 37 laps

"It was a reasonable clean day, we had a broken floor this morning so we lost some time in the first practice session which is never ideal, but other than that it was quite clean. Like the previous races we are in a very tight midfield battle, so getting everything 100% together will be key tomorrow to move as high up the grid as possible because it is extremely tight, so we have some work to do overnight. Although we missed a little bit of track time this morning, I'm feeling quite comfortable in the car, the balance feels good so if we can improve on certain areas overnight we could be fighting at the sharp end of the midfield battle again."

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer):

"Building on the successful work at the previous event mainly on the aero side, we came here with some further ways to try and optimise the aerodynamics of the car, so we put those into practice in P1. It was a bit of an eventful first practice session across the cars with a few problems, we had a bird strike Brendon's front wing so we had a little bit of damage there. We also suffered some floor damage on his car, so we had to do a floor swap during the session which meant his run plan was a little bit disrupted. For Pierre, we managed to complete the plan and test some of the new parts which were good, and we carried those into P2. It was very windy – which is the same for everyone – but it made analysing the balance quite difficult because it was inconsistent from corner to corner. In the second session, we completed the normal focus of qualifying and long run performance, it's fair to say that we improved a bit on the balance but we probably haven't extracted the maximum potential from the car over the short and long runs, and there's a little bit more for us to find tonight. It rained at the end of the session during a cooling test that we were trying to complete, so we weren't able to gather all of the data on that because of the weather but this was more for longer term understanding rather than this weekend."

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):

"This weekend, we face a completely different challenge to the one in Bahrain, both in terms of the track, as Shanghai has one of the longest straights of the year and also with the weather, which was quite cool today. Over the weekend, we will have to cope with changeable conditions, so we will have to adjust our engine settings accordingly. So far, over these three hours of practice, everything has gone smoothly on the PU front on both cars, although the rain right at the end prevented us from completing all our programme."