Both Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers were unfortunate to be eliminated from the second part of qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, with Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne taking eleventh and twelfth on the grid for the race in Belgium.
Kvyat managed to out-qualify his team-mate in the tricky conditions but was unlucky to be knocked out of in the dying seconds of the second part of qualifying after seeming to have done enough to get through. He is hoping to score some points as he knows the race will be long and at Spa anything can happen.
“That was a tricky qualifying session and until the last run I wasn’t too happy with the car handling,” said Kvyat. “But we tweaked a few things and in the end I was much more comfortable. I would say that my last run in Q2 was quite representative, even though I think we could have been faster if it had been dry.
“Tomorrow will be a different situation, since the race is very long and anything can happen. We will definitely push hard and hopefully we can grab some points.”
Team-mate Vergne, usually one of the best drivers in the field when the conditions are mixed, was unfortunate to suffer an exhaust issue ahead of the second part of qualifying that compromised his session and resulted in the Frenchman being eliminated.
“Q1 went well but then unfortunately we had an issue with the exhaust system, which compromised my Q2, being able to run only three laps and the timing was not the best one,” admitted Vergne. “It’s a shame as we had the car to make it to Q3 today. Nevertheless, we have seen during the weekend that we have got the pace to do well, long runs looked pretty good.
“Considering that tomorrow the race should be in dry conditions, starting from P12 is not too bad, as everything is possible.”
Technical Director James Key felt the session was tricky for the team, and was disappointed not to see either driver make it into the final part of qualifying, which was the team’s aim heading into the session. He is hopeful both Kvyat and Vergne can convert their eleventh and twelfth place grid slots into some points.
“A tough session today,” said Key. “Obviously we are disappointed not to have made it to Q3 as, looking at our car performance along the weekend, that was definitely our target. Q1 was very much a game of getting the right tyres on at the right time. The team did a very good job and the drivers responded really well. Q2 was tricky as it started to rain at the beginning of the session. Daniil ran two sets of tyres; unfortunately he didn’t quite make it to Q3 at the end for just a tenth. We’ll have a look to understand why.
“With JEV, unfortunately he had a clap on his exhaust system which came loose and needed to be tightened up. That meant that he missed the initial run and he had a single opportunity at the end. I also think we probably could have sent him out a bit later than we did, because the track was definitely better towards the end of the session but at that time it was difficult to tell. All these factors really effected his session.
“All this said, I’m still convinced that we are in a position to fight for the points tomorrow.”