TORO ROSSO - Monaco Thursday

Alexander Albon (STR14-04, Car 23)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:13.827, pos. 14th, 45 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:12.031, pos. 5th, 51 laps
It was a good day for us, it’s really fun out there and I like the track a lot. I think we got the car in the right window, now we just need to study what we’ve learnt from today, so we can fine-tune the car and get ready for Saturday. We made a couple of adjustments for the afternoon session and I like how the car feels. We’re cautious that other teams will improve for Saturday but finishing in the top five is a nice feeling.” 
Daniil Kvyat (STR14-03, Car 26)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1.13.731, pos. 13th, 40 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:12.577, pos. 14th, 39 laps
“I think from my side today was quite good. We completed everything we had planned for the day, but I think there’s still something missing and there’s quite a bit of time left to find. We will work hard to understand what we can do to improve so we’re in the fight for Saturday.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer):
“Overall, the team had a successful Thursday in Monte Carlo, given it was the first time here for Alex in F1 and with Daniil missing 2018. One of the main objectives was to give the drivers as many laps as possible with a consistent car to build up the pace and their confidence, which is key to a quick lap here. Both drivers got up to speed very quickly in FP1 on the Option tyre and the STR14 was looking competitive, even though the general grip was low and the balance not perfect. Our usage of tyres was quite different to most, as we elected to use our only Free Practice Prime tyre during FP1, which we used for the second run. The warm-up on this tyre was not as expected, with both drivers finding it very difficult to get it working over the short run, particularly for Daniil. Both drivers managed to get the C4 working after several sustainable laps in the long run at the end of the session, although neither driver was completely happy with the car on this tyre. Since we used our Prime in FP1, it left us two Option tyres to use in FP2, so a good opportunity for Quali practice and to get a read on the tyres over a longer run, particularly the graining sensitivity of this tyre, which we expected could be a challenge. Daniil struggled with the car balance on the first run, so he aborted early to leave time to make the necessary setup changes for the second run – these changes helped but he still didn’t have as good a balance in the car as Alex had. Alex’s second run was very clean and this is reflected in his lap time, finishing the session in P5.
“We closed the session with long runs, where we saw that the Option tyre was robust, even though it showed general degradation. In summary, the car is looking competitive here, as demonstrated by Alex, but there is work to do by the engineers tonight and tomorrow to give Daniil a car that suits him on Saturday. We are confident we will be able to make improvements and challenge in Qualifying!”
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
“We ran a normal “Friday” programme today to optimise our PU settings. Everything went smoothly on the PU front with our two teams. I think both teams had a good start today overall. We now have plenty of time to analyse the data and decide how to set up the PUs for qualifying in two days’ time and the race on Sunday.”

Tom Beeler

Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.

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Volume 2019, Issue 5, Posted 12:53 PM, 05.24.2019