It was a slow start to the Italian GP weekend for Toro Rosso who joined Caterham, Marussia and HRT at the back of the timesheets...
Daniel Ricciardo: "You come to Monza with a special low downforce package and the car always feels a bit different, moving around more and you are reaching very high speeds, so in terms of balance, it's hard to be happy here compared to circuits where you run much higher downforce. Therefore you need to change your approach a bit. However, we are still looking for some more speed and even if we have to accept it might not be perfect, I do believe there is room for improvement for the rest of the weekend. We made a couple of changes between the sessions, but we don't yet have a clear picture of where we are at the moment. It's nice to see so many people from our factory in Faenza here to support us."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "This is my first time at Monza in a Formula 1 car and it definitely feels fast! I have been getting used to running with very little downforce and we still have some work to do to try and improve our performance level. The team did a good job today in terms of working through a packed test programme and now it's a case of studying the data, trying to work out the best car set-up for qualifying and for the race. I have to say that driving for an Italian team at Monza in front of such a big crowd, including many of our people from the factory added something special to the experience."
Heikki Kovalainen: "A much better Friday than we've had for a while. Right from the installation lap the car balance felt better and we're clearly more competitive here than we have been anywhere since Valencia. It's difficult to understand where the improvement has come from - the cars are in a very different configuration than Spa, Hungary, Hockenheim or Silverstone but that doesn't explain the difference in the feeling and the performance. We need to get a better understanding of why we're better here and then make sure we can translate that into being more competitive at every type of track. It's a positive feeling for everybody. Spa was not acceptable, that's clear, and when we don't really understand why we weren't competitive it's more difficult to sort out, but coming here we're back to the base level of performance we should have and now we need to build on that."
Vitaly Petrov: "I think we are moving in the right direction and it's been a much better day for us than we had last week, or for a few races now. We ran both cars in different aero configurations so we could generate as much data as possible and the laptimes look pretty good. That gives us a lot to work on tonight, to prepare for quali and the race and it's good to see us getting back to where we want to be. After the ups and downs we've seen so far this year I don't want to make any predictions about where we'll end up on Sunday, or in Singapore or any of the races to come, but I think that if we carry on like we have today we'll be looking much better. That's a good feeling, for me and the team, and hopefully the similar weather conditions we'll have on track tomorrow will suit us so we can have another positive day."
Timo Glock: "First of all it's good to have stable weather conditions in Monza because this track is quite unique and we needed to do a lot of preparation work. We got through the programme quite well and evaluated the aero level of our rear wing options for here. We did a lot of back to back work with our Canada specification and our latest components seem the clear way to go, which again proves out our development direction. Overall the car felt okay and no problems with the long runs so far; the times were quite consistent. I'm happy with FP1 and FP2. A bit of fine-tuning perhaps but, in general, a good start and we will see what we can do from here now."
Charles Pic: "A very busy day for us today, perhaps even more so than usual as we had to follow a very comprehensive programme across the two cars to arrive at a good way to proceed from here. We tried lots of different things this morning so that in the break we could analyse the information and decide on a direction. This track is not easy to set the car up for and it involves a few compromises, but I think we have worked well to establish a good starting point. There is still more work to be done based on what we have learned here this afternoon and some things we can do to continue to improve the car."
Pedro de la Rosa: "Today we enjoyed two clean sessions that enabled us to try out different aero configurations and complete a comparison of tyre compounds and a long stint towards the end in preparation for the race. We faced no problems and were able to complete all the tests as planned. We can still improve the car for tomorrow ahead of qualifying but we've set a good base for the race."
Narain Karthikeyan: "We focused on testing different car set-ups and the car worked well with all of them. The shame is that we had to stop before the end because of an issue with the exhausts. It was a precautionary measure more than anything else and it will be fixed for tomorrow. But the best thing about the day was that I found a rhythm quickly and that the car performed well."
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