Brazil GP: Practice team notes – Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly: “I like coming to this circuit and it was great to drive here again for the second time. It was a productive day of testing and we made some improvements from FP1 to FP2. Overall, I think we made some effective changes to the setup, but we still need to work overnight to find more balance for tomorrow. I think we are getting closer to the top 10 and hopefully with some good work tonight we can close the gap tomorrow. I think we have a chance to do well here but we just need to put everything together, that will be the main target tonight.”

Brendon Hartley: “It’s good to be back in Interlagos! I wouldn’t say we were as competitive as we would have liked to be, but we have been fighting with the balance of the car a bit today. There’s some work to do with the engineers overnight to hopefully find some more time for tomorrow.”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): “It was a fairly productive day where everything went to plan with no issues. We have the new aero package here on both cars, which is behaving very well, so that’s a positive sign for the team. The focus in FP1 was to carry out some aero tests to try and build on our knowledge of the package. The track was very dirty to start with so the grip was quite low. In terms of car balance, both cars suffered with understeer in FP1, and although we tried to address it, we didn’t achieve a good balance by the end of the session. Based on what we saw in the morning, we took the optimum aero configuration into FP2 and planned the normal tyre compare on short runs before going to high fuel. The red flag compromised both of our first runs, but at least Hulkenberg was OK because it looked like a quite big hit. We improved the balance in FP2 and our competitiveness on low fuel looks reasonable. We didn’t look as competitive on the high fuel run, so we need to understand why that is. We’ll work on this tonight to ty and find the best compromise between qualifying and race pace. We’ve also seen low track temperatures, much lower than we expect on Sunday, so we have to be careful in what we’ve learned about the tyres and how we take that forward into the race when the temperatures rise.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): “Everything went smoothly on the PU side throughout today’s three hours of track time. The team improved the balance of the car between the two sessions, allowing Pierre to set 12th fastest time in FP2 which is encouraging for tomorrow. However, there is some uncertainty over the weather with rain forecast at some point during Saturday afternoon, so a flexible strategy to qualifying could be the key to a good result.”