Max Verstappen turns first session for Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen (STR-01)

First Practice Session - Best lap: 1:38.157, pos. 12th, 22 laps

"Today for me it was all about getting experience in the car, especially on a difficult track like Suzuka. I was impressed with the engine power. The car is bigger compared to the one I'm used to in Formula 3 and there are a lot more things to think about while you're driving, so I had to use some laps to get confident with such a different car. I was not taking any risks and I drove within my limits for all the session, doing as much mileage as possible. I have to thank Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso for giving me the possibility to be in the car already this year on Fridays and get well prepared for next year. I find myself very comfortable in this team and I like my working group. I hope to drive also in Austin, Sao Paolo and Abu Dhabi. Now that I know what it means to drive a Formula 1 car, I'm looking forward to it even more."

Daniil Kvyat (STR9-03)

First Practice Session

Best lap: 1:37.714, pos. 10th, 26 laps

Second Practice Session

Best lap: 1:36.943, pos. 9th, 27 laps

“It was a tough day, but I enjoyed finally driving here in Suzuka and I was able to learn the track quite well. I struggled a bit with the car balance today, so there is still some work for us to do overnight. But I’m confident we can improve the car for tomorrow and hopefully we can get the most out of the car for Saturday’s Qualifying and Sunday’s race.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR9-01)

Second Practice Session

Best lap: 1:37.219, pos. 11th, 19 laps

"Definitely a difficult Friday, with very little running. It didn't help not having driven FP1, but I have to say Max did some good work with the car this morning. In the afternoon I had a few issues that did not allow me to run as much as I would have liked. We have to investigate and understand what the problems were in order to find a good solution. On the positive side, we have a good base to work on, so I'm confident we can put together a better car for tomorrow."

Phil Charles (Chief Race Engineer)

“It was a mixed day, with some positives but also a few negatives. The real positive was Max’s performance as he drove a fantastic first session. We are very pleased with him, as he settled in very well and produced laps times we would not have expected for a first day. On the negative side, we had a problem that stopped Verstappen’s car out on track towards the end of FP1. The mechanics had to work very quickly to sort out the car in between the sessions and then when Jev took it over for the afternoon, he encountered a problem related to the rebuild after FP1 and then he had another one right at the very end of FP2. Three stops on track is never good and today, Jev was the one who unfortunately suffered the consequences, so he’s not really been able to settle in as he should do, especially having sat out the first session. The situation is better with Daniil, although he wasn’t happy with the car in Turn 8. So hopefully we can improve that for tomorrow.”

Ricardo Penteado (Renault Sport F1 track support leader)

“While everything worked well on Daniil’s car and we were able to show good pace, we had a number of issues on the other car. A broken exhaust valve brought Max’ session to an early close, which was a shame as he was doing a great job until that point. It was easy to change though and JEV was able to start FP2. However he then had a fuel pump issue that disrupted the early part of the session and then an electronic issue at the end. We will study everything and make sure he has a smoother day tomorrow.”