Scuderia Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo was bullish following practice on Friday for the 2013 F1 Japanese Grand Prix.
Ricciardo went well in both sessions at the Suzuka Circuit, posting the tenth best time in the morning, before improving in the afternoon and ending the day seventh overall, thanks to a 1 minute 34.473 second lap, which left him ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa in P8 and only fractionally behind Lewis Hamilton in P6.
“I've been hoping to have a Friday like this one for a while now even if, of course, it's the Saturday and Sunday that's important,” said Ricciardo. “So I am glad that I was tenth in the morning and seventh this afternoon, which is a good sign for us. It's a complicated circuit and I love it.
“Today, we made progress with each change we made on the car, keeping each modification and then moving further forward. On my long run on Option, it started quite well until I ran into traffic, but in general the pace wasn't looking too bad – definitely a positive Friday for us.”
Team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne meanwhile was also reasonably happy, although he was slightly slower, concluding the day in P12 overall.
“It was a troublefree Friday and we worked to our usual programme, working on the car set-up and balance,” he remarked. “I have to say I am not yet happy with it, mainly having some difficulty with understeer. However, it was an encouraging day.
“I did long runs on both tyres and although I didn't get a clear picture from the Prime, the Option was good.”
“We seem to be in good shape this weekend and we are satisfied with how the car is reacting to what we do to it,” summarised Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso's head of vehicle performance.
“We tried various set-up changes this morning and we have found a decent compromise here as a starting point for the weekend.
“We still have some work to do to give the drivers what they want. It is again very close in the midfield, so the important thing now is that tonight, we manage to make the usual step forward that we normally see from Friday to Saturday.”