After last week’s launch and three days of testing, Scuderia Toro Rosso, along with all but one of the teams entered in the Formula 1 World Championship, began the second of four pre-season sessions. This one will last a total of four days and, so far, the weather in Jerez has been warm and sunny.
The team put in a lot of work at the factory, making changes to the STR 6 based on data acquired in Valencia and the first day in Jerez would suggest that those changes have delivered signs of progress. Today was a milestone for a product of the Red Bull Young Driver programme, as Daniel Ricciardo had his first ever drive in a Scuderia Toro Rosso car. The Australian, who will drive for the team in Free Practice 1 at most Grands Prix this year, completed 31 laps in the morning, before handing over to Jaime Alguersuari in the afternoon.
Daniel Ricciardo: “Jerez is where I first drove a Formula 1 car, when I tested for Red Bull Racing at the end of ’09 and the last time I drove an F1 car was last November, again with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but three months out of a race car is long enough. It was good to be back in the cockpit. Fortunately, I seem to have remembered how to drive! Driving the Toro Rosso for the first time was another exciting experience for me. It went well and I did enough laps this morning to get settled in the cockpit, which is important, as I hope to get a bit more track time in testing, so that I can feel confident when I get to Bahrain and run in free practice on Friday morning at my first Grand Prix weekend. I also managed to use both of the important new elements, the KERS and the DRS (drag reduction system) which seemed to function as planned and I felt quite comfortable by the end of the morning.”
Jaime Alguersuari drives all day tomorrow (Friday) with Sebastien Buemi taking over for Saturday and Sunday.
Circuit: Circuito de Jerez – 4,423 kms
Driver: Daniel Ricciardo
Chassis: STR6 – 02
Best time: 1:21.755, 31 laps
Driver: Jaime Alguersuari
Chassis: STR6 – 02
Best time: 1:22:689, 42 laps