Daniil Kvyat: “We were expecting a much better final race”


After starting with both cars inside the top ten, the Scuderia Toro Rosso team were hopeful of ending the 2014 Formula 1 season with a points finish, but Daniil Kvyat’s early retirement and Jean-Eric Vergne’s twelfth place meant the team could not add to their points tally in Abu Dhabi.

Vergne, on potentially his final race for the team, felt he did as much as he could with the strategy he ran, but was disappointed not to score any points, especially after starting tenth on the grid. He outscored Kvyat by twenty-two points to eight, and was happy for the team to finish seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.

“Today I have absolutely given my maximum to catch the ones in front of me but the pace was just not good enough,” said Vergne. “It’s a shame as our starting position made us think we could have finished in the top ten. We really wanted to score some good points for the final race of the season and we could not achieve our goal.

“On the positive side, we are still 7th in the Constructors Championship and this is very important for the team. I want to thank everybody, for yet another season together.”

Kvyat, who moves to Infiniti Red Bull Racing in 2015, was forced to retire early after starting fifth after an engine issue, something that has blighted the team during 2014 – the Russian was the only driver to be forced to use a seventh engine this year. He felt he could have scored points after being embroiled in a battle with the two Ferrari drivers and Jenson Button’s McLaren when he retired.

“This is one of those races, in which we were just not able to show our full potential,” reflected Kvyat. “We were expecting a much better final race but an engine related problem forced me to retire in the early stages. This was unfortunate, because speed and pace were quite good until then.

“We were fighting with Ferraris and Button and I think we could have finished somewhere around him. Anyway, I have to thank my team for everything they have done for me this year, helping me to grow as a driver and be ready for next year. This has been massively important for me.

“Looking back to this season, it’s a shame that in many occasions we could not show our real potential. I think we would have deserved much better results, but very often we have just been unlucky. Now I am looking forward to this new challenge with Infiniti Red Bull Racing.”

Team Principal Franz Tost was disappointed to miss out on points in Abu Dhabi after seeing both drivers starting inside the top ten, ruing Kvyat’s early retirement and Vergne’s risky strategy.

“To start from the fifth and tenth places on the grid and to finish with only one car in twelfth position is certainly not what we were expecting for the final race of the season, here in Abu Dhabi,” said Tost. “Both drivers started the race quite well and in the first few laps the speed was good enough for us to keep pace with some competitors around us.

“Unfortunately, after 14 laps, Daniil Kvyat suffered a technical problem on his drivetrain, which put an early stop to his race. As for Jean-Eric Vergne, we decided to take the risk and go for a three stop strategy, which did not pay off in the end and we would have needed a few more laps to overtake some people in front of us and finish in the points.”

Tost thanked his drivers for what they have done during the 2014 season, but has already has an eye on 2015 when Max Verstappen joins the team to become the youngest Formula 1 driver in history, with the aim to improve on the teams’ results.

“I would like to thank Daniil and Jean-Eric for what they have done for us this year – I really think we had a strong driver line-up – and congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for his well-deserved title,” said Tost. “This season is over but now we have to start working towards the next one. Clearly our aim is to improve still further and be more competitive next year. The 2015 Melbourne Grand Prix is just around the corner.”