The final qualifying session and subsequent stewards decisions of 2014 saw Daniil Kvyat qualify an excellent fifth and Jean-Eric Vergne tenth for Scuderia Toro Rosso in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking before being promoted to fifth after both Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers were disqualified ahead of him, Kvyat was happy to qualify in seventh, but will work hard to turn his good qualifying into points after struggling to maintain his position when starting this high up in previous races.
“It was a very good Qualifying session for us,” said Kvyat. “I did a good lap in Q3 and I am happy that we achieved P7, even if we could have done a little better. We were very close to the 6th place, but nevertheless we are in a good position for tomorrow, also because I will start from the clean side of the track.
“It’s hard to fix a target for the race, I just hope to maximize our strong performance in Qualifying. I think yesterday we correctly understood where our car could have been improved and we worked in the right direction. Now we’ll just have to work hard in order to get points tomorrow.”
Kvyat will be competing in his final Grand Prix for Toro Rosso before his promotion to Red Bull Racing in place of Sebastian Vettel, but insists he will keep his emotions in check and will remain focused on the job in hand.
“I have good memories here from GP3 and I hope that tomorrow’s race will also turn out to be an experience to remember,” insisted Kvyat. “It will be my last race with Scuderia Toro Rosso, I will miss the whole team and I will also miss speaking Italian. But tomorrow there is no time to be emotional: I will be totally focused on the race!”
Team-mate Vergne could be racing for the final time for the team in Abu Dhabi, but could not join his team-mate in Q3, ending up qualifying twelfth, but will start tenth after the Red Bull’s disqualifications. He was slightly downbeat after missing out on Q3, but feels his race pace should allow him to challenge for points.
“It wasn’t a bad qualifying session, even though I would have preferred to get into Q3,” insisted Vergne. “It’s been a difficult weekend, with a car which has always been very hard to drive, so at the end of the day to finish so close to Q3 is not such a bad result.
“All considered, it gives me the possibility to start the race with the tyres that I want tomorrow and I’m really convinced that our car will perform much better, as our race pace has been looking good for the whole weekend. With a good strategy, we should definitely be strong tomorrow and bring home some good and valuable points, to end the season on a high, for me and for the team.”