Jean-Eric Vergne says that he was pleased with the pace of the STR8 during practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, but reckons that the balance of the car still needs improving.
Vergne was ninth in first practice and cemented that result with twelfth place in the evening session.
“We have some new things on the car here and we have spent today getting to understand how they work. I would say they show good potential for improvement,” he said.
“It all went smoothly, so now it’s the usual story of looking at all the data to find the best possible set-up for tomorrow. It’s going to be a long night for everyone, but I am confident that we can come up with something useful. As part of the usual tyre evaluation, I did a long run on the Supersoft and it felt pretty good and I was quite pleased with that.”
“The main area we need to work on for tomorrow is the balance.”
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was eighteenth quickest in the opening 90 minute session but was upbeat about improvements made before second practice, in which he was eleventh.
“In FP1 we found ourselves a little bit on the back foot, as I wasn’t really comfortable with what I had underneath me,” said Ricciardo.
“We made some adjustments for FP2 and they produced what we expected, which is positive. Now we have to fine tune those adjustments and then we can have a good package. In high downforce configuration and high temperatures we have struggled a bit this year, but I feel the changes to the car should see us make a step forward, although in Formula 1 you always have to remember that the other teams are also developing their cars.”
“Today, myself and Jean-Eric were just outside the top 10, but I’m confident we can move forward from there tomorrow and if we get into Q3, then we can look forward to a strong race on Sunday.”