It is very popular with teams, drivers and fans and in more recent times it also means that by the time we get here, the compulsory summer break is finally within sight. Much as we at Toro Rosso love our racing, a bit of time to spend with family and friends in the middle of a long season is always a good thing. One aspect of this event that never changes is that the track is usually quite dusty on Friday morning and that other tradition, the mid-summer heatwave was still with us despite a refreshing storm on Thursday evening.

The Toro Rosso duo soon got down to business on a track they know well enough and in FP1, Carlos Sainz did 25 laps on his way to seventh place on the time sheet. Team-mate Max Verstappen was tenth, running 27 laps. Then, in the afternoon, the Spaniard ended up sixth, putting in an impressive 37 laps. However, the Dutchman’s STR10 suffered a slight electrical glitch which kept him in the garage for a while, so that he did just 19 laps, ending up with the eleventh fastest time.

Inevitably, Mercedes were quickest, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg topping the FP1 timesheet. However, in the afternoon, the Red Bulls showed a return to form on a circuit where power is not the key factor, with Daniil Kvyat, second and Daniel Ricciardo third, splitting the Hamilton and Rosberg duo. There was high drama in the morning session when Sergio Perez flipped the Force India over due to what the team said was an unexplained suspension failure, so neither car ran in FP2, although fortunately “Checo” emerged unscathed from the cockpit.

There’s a lot of work to do tonight, at a track which seems like suiting us quite well, with the aim of getting back to scoring good points. We are ready for the challenge…focussing now on tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.