A new Formula 1 era got underway today at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit with the first of twelve days of pre-season testing.
In the past, the first test was very much a case of business as usual, but with the massive changes to the technical regulations, just getting a car to run on track was a major achievement.
Scuderia Toro Rosso did a bit better than that, with Jean-Eric Vergne managing to complete 15 laps, the third-longest distance of the day. There were the inevitable teething problems and the car stopped out on track with a software issue, which brought the day to an early end. However, overall this was a positive start and tomorrow, after a long night analysing data, the STR9 will take to the track again, this time with Daniil Kvyat having his first official day at the wheel.
“It would be easy to say things did not go well today, because the car stopped, because we didn’t use full power and therefore I did not get a chance to see what the car feels like,” said Jean-Eric. “However, that is the wrong way to look at things, because we expected plenty of difficulties, especially learning about how the new type of power unit works.”
“In fact, I would say this was a positive day, because just getting the car on track was an achievement, so the team can be pleased with that as it was down to their hard work. From my point of view, it was also interesting to work with my new race engineers for the first time and to be back enjoying the atmosphere of the Formula 1 paddock. Now, we will spend a lot of time looking at all this data tonight and then Daniil will move the programme forward tomorrow. Overall, a satisfactory start to the season in very difficult conditions.”
Circuit: Jerez de la Frontera, 4.423 kms
Driver: Jean-Eric Vergne
Car: STR9 chassis number 01
Best time: 1:36.530