Carlos Sainz (STR11-01, Car 55)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:35.672, pos. 12th, 27 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:34.086, pos. 10th, 33 laps

Carlos Sainz:

“A challenging day – obviously a track like Suzuka is always defiant regarding the set-up and driver, but I’ve definitely enjoyed it a lot out there today. Driving here is one of the most exciting weekends of the year for me – I really enjoy every single lap, it doesn’t matter if it’s during a short run or a long run, it’s just fantastic! I’m happy with today. We’ve been able to complete plenty of laps without any problems and, from a performance point of view, I think it’s looking very similar to Malaysia: we look good on Friday, but we know it won’t be easy to do the same all weekend long – finishing today in the top ten is very nice and we’ll do our best to maximize the potential of the car during the rest of the weekend.”

Daniil Kvyat (STR11-03, Car 26)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:35.446, pos. 11th, 23 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:34.305, pos. 14th, 27 laps

Daniil Kvyat:

“It was a decent Friday, we did a good job. My running was slightly compromised in FP2, but we know that in tomorrow’s FP3 we will be back to normal and we will see where we are compared to the others. We’ve collected plenty of data regarding the tyres, which is what we wanted, and we now have enough information to analyse tonight. Considering what happened today…I will definitely go for some octopus sushi for dinner tonight!”

Phil Charles (Chief Race Engineer):

“I am quite pleased as we have ticked off most, if not all, of our program targets today. Some aero work first thing in the morning and some decent tyre data on long runs this afternoon. In terms of our performance I think we are ok – it is a very tight midfield here and we know our now customary straight line speed deficit is a hindrance. However, the first sector is complementary to our package as we enjoy high speed sweepy cornering. We do have a little bit more work to do in sector 2 tonight though. Daniil had a gearbox issue on his car at the end of FP1. The mechanics managed to change the gearbox in time, but we were not able to maximize the set up for FP2. Hopefully, we can uncover a bit more performance in the setup and drivers in sector 2 tomorrow. Other highlights of the weekend so far for me have been how passionate and creative the Japanese fans are here and secondly the return of Daniil’s ‘octopus’ that you might have heard him talking about on the radio in P1. This is actually something which has visited him before in a race in 2014. It gave quite a high level of confusion back then when he said there is an octopus on the front of the car. It was only after the race that we truly understood what he was talking about – a collection of long and thin tyre rubber marbles had gathered on the aerial on top of the cockpit in front of him.”