The Scuderia Toro Rosso team brought a whole host of upgrades to the Red Bull Ring and the performance shown so far this weekend in Austria shows they are working. Russian Daniil Kvyat took a career high seventh place on the grid, while balance problems affected team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne and he will start fourteenth. Both drivers are confident of good race performances however.
Kvyat took his best qualifying result of the season in seventh, beating the eighth from the Australian Grand Prix in March. He felt the team made a significant step forward in performance and felt he could have qualified even higher had it not been for Lewis Hamilton’s spin at turn 2 that brought out the yellow flags. The young Russian is hopeful of a strong race.
“This was my best qualifying result so far this season and I’m satisfied with the work the team has done all weekend,” said Kvyat. “We managed to put all the things together like a puzzle and we made a significant step forward from yesterday to today. It was a shame that because of the yellow flags in Turn 2, we couldn’t exploit the full potential of the car. But still, P7 is a good starting position. I really enjoy this circuit and I hope we can have a strong race in front of all the Red Bull family.”
Team-mate Vergne struggled for balance on his car and complained about oversteer than prevented him getting the best out of the car. He feels he could have a strong race but from fourteenth on the grid he will have his work cut out to score points.
“We have struggled with the set up all day and I had to fight against a pretty consistent oversteer, which makes it difficult to put in the perfect lap and get into Q3,” said Vergne. “It’s a real pity as the team has done a really good job and the car has certainly improved with all the new parts that we brought here for this race. This is a one time off when qualifying was bad but the race is still to come, the car is good and I’ll do my best to make it up tomorrow what I have lost today.”
Technical Director James Key was in a positive frame of mind, as the upgrades brought to the Red Bull Ring appear to be working well for Toro Rosso. He is looking forward to the race with confidence that the race pace will be strong.
“We introduced a very big aero package here this weekend and the good news is that it’s working pretty well and I think it’s a good platform for going forward,” said Key. “As for today, we are obviously very happy to get Daniil into Q3 and for him to finish in seventh place, which is certainly a very good position to start the race. But it’s been a bit of a mixed session. I think JEV hasn’t really been a hundred per cent happy with the car all day. He’s had some balance problem, which we’ve been working on hard.
“In Qualifying the situation looked a bit better but it’s so tight here, it’s such a short lap that only a few tenths make the difference and his last lap in Q2 was not quite enough for Q3. However, he was happy with the car on the long run pace on Friday so we are definitively hopeful for tomorrow.
“For Daniil, it was a fantastic qualifying session and he was competitive all day. Unfortunately he was a victim of a yellow flag with a Mercedes in Q3, so he had to back off a bit and he lost probably three or four tenths. I think he could have done even better but with a seventh position on the grid we can’t complain at all. The team is happy for him, for doing such a good job. Tomorrow is what counts and we are looking forward to it.”