2017 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY 24/11/2017
 
Pierre Gasly (STR12-01, Car 10)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:41.646, pos. 14th, 29 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:40.694, pos. 15th, 39 laps
“Overall, it’s been a positive and productive day. We managed to have two trouble-free practice sessions and did plenty of laps, which meant we were able to complete the program as we wanted, which is great. During this afternoon’s FP2, I felt good on the supersofts, but then on the ultra we didn’t manage to improve, which means we need to work on the tyres and try and improve this. Having said that, there are also many positive aspects to take from today so, all in all, a good start to the weekend and hopefully we can make a step forward tomorrow for qualifying.”
 
Brendon Hartley (STR12-04, Car 28)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:42.585, pos. 20th, 35 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:41.496, pos. 19th, 39 laps
“Nice to be back driving the Toro Rosso car after a couple of weeks’ off F1 duty, changing cars once again in between F1 race weekends… It’s been a busy few weeks for me and I’m really enjoying it! It took me a little while to get back up to speed today, but we’re working hard and I’m optimistic for tomorrow – we will keep pushing!”
 
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“It was great to have a trouble free Friday session and cover the entire test plan! This morning we carried out some aero tests to help our understanding of the car for next year, so as part of that we did a front wing compare with Brendon. This gathered an awful lot of useful information that we can now feed back to the aero department and help drive the aero development over the winter for next year’s car. Pierre was on the pace straight away, which was great to see. Brendon was driving LMP1 in Bahrain last weekend so jumping back into the F1 car it took time to familiarize himself again with the TR12 and Pirelli tyres, so his lap times are not a true reflection of his pace. Obviously, from FP1 to FP2 the track temperatures changed dramatically, so the balance and the handling therefore changed too, but we anticipated that and made setup changed to the car to compensate. We had a few issues in the morning with tyres overheating, but then they were in the working range in the afternoon. We were competitive on the supersoft in FP2, but we struggled on the ultrasoft – we didn’t find the lap time that we expected and that the others found, so we need to go through all of the data tonight to understand and make sure we’re operating the tyres correctly and not missing anything in terms of the aero or mechanical setup of the car. It was a similar story in the long-run – our pace was not where we expected to be so there’s quite a lot of work for us tonight, but we remain positive for the rest of the weekend.”