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2018 F1

A tougher weekend than expected – Toro Rosso

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Not the day we expected in China with difficult weather conditions, there’s a lot of work to do in the race tomorrow!

Brendon Hartley (STR13-03, Car 28)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:34.991, pos. 14th, 20 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:34.013 (Q2) 1:33.795, pos. 15th

“We had a little issue on my car yesterday but we solved that overnight, both of us have been struggling on this track compared to Bahrain. There’s a number of contributors; the temperature is very different and the wind is very high here. We saw it in Melbourne as well, we seemed to suffer more when the wind picked up compared to the other cars. In Bahrain, we had a stronger car and now we have to figure out why it wasn’t the same story here, but that just shows how competitive this midfield battle is. I think this track can promote some overtaking and a bit of racing and I believe the temperature will be warmer tomorrow as well. In the race, things could completely turn around just because of the change in temperature and wind – that’s how sensitive these modern Formula 1 cars are. I’m staying positive and I think points are possible from P15. All in all, I was pretty happy with the job I did today.”

Pierre Gasly (STR13-04, Car 10)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:35.079, pos. 16th, 16 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:34.101, pos. 17th

“It was a tough day today. Yesterday was quite positive for us finishing 11th and 12th, but we changed the car and since this morning I’ve struggled to find pace which made it difficult to put everything together. We didn’t have much time to change the setup between FP3 and Qualifying, and in the end it was a difficult qualifying session. I’m still learning a lot about the track, I think in the long run yesterday we looked OK in terms of degradation – so that’s positive – but starting 17th we will have to find a way to come back. Hopefully we can understand what went wrong and find the pace again tomorrow. Yesterday we struggled a bit with the front of the car and today there were problems with the rear. I would say we know in the long run we’re usually pretty good with the degradation, but tonight we need to understand why the changes we made didn’t work. We’ll try everything to come back tomorrow.”

James Key (Technical Director): “It’s been a tougher weekend than expected, we knew that this circuit wasn’t going to suit us as well as the last event, but we hoped for a better performance than we showed today. I think the very cold temperatures and the windy conditions are not helping us, and we have had trouble finding a good balance, although of course the conditions are the same for everyone. Pierre hasn’t been comfortable with his car for most of the day – certainly not as comfortable as yesterday where we had a more competitive package – and sadly he was out in Q1, something we need to look into in more detail to understand where we missed out. Brendon got through to Q2, and while he progressed OK and did a clean lap, we didn’t progress as much as we had of liked. I think we have to face the fact that’s where we have been today and hope tomorrow that in better weather conditions we can make good progress. Overall, it was a disappointing qualifying session and we need to go away and carefully study what has had such a negative effect on our competitiveness today.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): “Overall, this was a disappointing result for the team, but Brendon did well to get into Q2. On the PU side, everything has gone smoothly so far and we will now study the data to ensure we have a good race tomorrow.”

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