Bourdais and Vettel not yet happy with new car
Both Sébastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel were disappointed by the speed of Scuderia Toro Rosso's new STR3 on the opening day of practice in Monaco. After being 13th (Bourdais) and 19th-fastest in the morning session, the two fell back to 18th and 20th in the afternoon, a whopping 2.5 seconds back of fast man Lewis Hamilton.
"This morning when I woke up, I thought, 'this is it, I'm finally going to drive Monaco in an F1 car!'" the Frenchman remarked after the first day's practice. "It was a case of finding out about the new car, which was always going to be difficult on this demanding track. We always ran with a heavy fuel load, so we should not read anything into the lap times. We are not where we want to be, but I don't think we are as far behind as it might look.
"However, I was expecting us to be in slightly better shape than this, which means Saturday and Sunday are going to be interesting. We are lacking a bit of grip, maybe because we lack a little downforce in this maximum downforce set-up - which our top speeds would also suggest. At least my past experience here has been a help, and in the morning I got into a rhythm quite quickly."
"Certainly not the best first two sessions of a race weekend," agreed Vettel, six tenths of a second slower still and like his team-mate making his first F1 appearance in Monte Carlo, after finishing as runner-up there in the Renault World Series last year. "It is the first time we have had the new car at a race, so it was always going to be difficult to know what to expect and I seemed to struggle a lot. I was fighting with the car on a circuit that I have always liked in the past.
"I have nothing against street circuits; quite the opposite in fact. We were struggling to find the right direction to go in. By the end of the second session we made a step forward, but it is not yet enough."
"We are not happy to be here for the first time with the new car," said team co-owner Gerhard Berger. "It was planned for the last race but, unfortunately, we couldn't finish it, so we had no other choice.
"We could have moved it back to Canada, but the quicker we get into it, the quicker we understand it, the quicker we get mileage with it and the quicker we will know what the drivers feel is better. Obviously it is not an ideal situation, but we have to cope with it.
"Monaco anyway is very difficult to judge, and even the weather is a big question mark, so let's see what happens. We had a good day because we ran a lot and we had no reliability problems. We had a lot of issues of course setting up the car, but reliability-wise it was fine and we have already got quite good mileage. That's good, so let's just pace it."