Sebastien Buemi believes that his strong performance on the first day's free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos was firm evidence that Scuderia Toro Rosso will be competitive throughout the weekend.
The Swiss rookie came within 0.043sec of being fastest in a Formula 1 free practice session for the first time in his career, having shown convincing pace throughout the afternoon's running. In the end he missed out on his moment in the limelight when Fernando Alonso eclipsed his time in the closing stages of the 90-minute session.
"I am happy that we seemed quite competitive in the afternoon," he said. "I think we showed good speed, even though this is my first time driving this circuit. Now we have a solid basis on which to improve tomorrow, after studying all the data.
"Today's session shows that our pace in Japan was not just a one-off. So, I am quite confident for the rest of the weekend."
Buemi's day was not uneventful, though, with the team having to rebuild the right-rear corner of his car when he crashed at Turn 8 during the morning practice session.
"I came up fast behind Liuzzi, who was going slowly on the racing line and in trying to avoid him, I went over the kerb, lost control and spun," explained Buemi. "The mechanics did a very good job to rebuild the car after my accident this morning."
Fellow rookie Jaime Alguersuari ended the day 19th fastest in the sister Toro Rosso machine.