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I've been at the A1 - here is the news from STR:
2006 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - Friday 10/03/06
Scuderia Toro Rosso has only been up and running for a few minutes and already it has the
Royal seal of approval. Prince Albert of Monaco was spotted having lunch at the team's
facility here at the Sakhir track. Asked what the Prince was doing, Gerhard Berger was
keeping his cards close to his chest. "Oh, we just asked him to bring down a few new parts we
needed for the cars," joked the team boss.
Tonio Liuzzi: "I'd say my good time was down to the fact we did four days testing here last
month and also I managed to do 33 laps today. It was a straightforward day and the car
responded well to the changes we made. It's the first time we run with the new car here. In the
morning, it was just a case of getting to grips with the track. Then in the afternoon, we began
making progress in terms of set-up and tyre work. I am not sure what our qualifying pace will
be tomorrow afternoon, but overtaking is tough here, so we need to aim high. I am confident
we can do well even though I am not particularly fond of the technical nature of this track.
But we've got off to a good start, so fingers crossed."
Neel Jani: "So that's my first ever free practice session at a grand prix weekend. I enjoyed
myself and I learned a lot, especially about the tyres as this is the first time I have been really
been involved in this sort of work. I hope it will be useful for the two drivers over the rest of
the weekend. I feel very comfortable in the car, even though I had only done one and a half
days testing before today."
Scott Speed: "It sure feels a lot different coming here with the new car after we tested at this
track with the old one. This one definitely handles differently. I'm still coming to terms with
it at the moment. I think everyone is seeing quite a bit of oversteer at the moment as the track
is dirty and difficult. But you have to be careful not to chase the track in terms of your settings
as it's going to get better tomorrow."
2006 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - Saturday 11/03/06
V. Liuzzi Pos. 19 1.35.351 laps 13
S. Speed Pos. 20 1.35.532 laps 13
V. Liuzzi Pos. 15 1.33.416 laps 13
S. Speed Pos. 16 1.34.606 laps 10
Tonio Liuzzi: "It's been a complicated and difficult qualifying as the track conditions were
totally different to yesterday. This meant we made many changes to the set-up as the car
handled very differently. Qualifying was a bit chaotic with the red flag, but although I'm a bit
disappointed not to make it through to the final part of the session, we have planned a fairly
conservative strategy for the race, which is the only thing that matters. I definitely like this
qualifying format. It's already been exciting today."
Scott Speed: "I'm used to qualifying with all the other cars out on track at the same time, but
all the same it did feel a bit different, this being Formula One, with a bit more pressure. The
first part of the session went very well, although I got a bit held up at the end of it by Jacques.
Then, in the second part, the tyre temperatures were not quite where we wanted them and I
got pulled in to the weighbridge, which meant I didn't get a second run in. So, maybe we
could have gone a bit quicker in the second part, but now we can play with the fuel load,
which puts us in a strong position for the race."
Gabriele Tredozi (Technical Director) : "It's been an exciting weekend so far, with a new
team and today, the new qualifying rules. The new format definitely produced some
excitement and unexpected situations with the red flag. It was a good show of the sort we
have not seen for many years in qualifying. We can pleased with our overall performance and
the cars went well. The drivers made no mistakes to put us in a good position from which we
can now look at a wide range of strategy options for the race."