It was ultimately a disappointing day for Scuderia Toro Rosso, with Daniil Kvyat qualifying fourteenth and Jean-Eric Vergne sixteenth at Interlagos, although Vergne moves up a place due to Kvyat’s grid penalty carried over from Austin last weekend, with the young Russian due to start seventeenth on Sunday.
Kvyat made it through to the second part of qualifying, but opted not to go out to set a lap in the session with the six place grid drop penalty carried over from his Austin engine change coming into effect. He looks at the other two races where he started at the back of the field – at Monza and Austin – where he was able to make a good fight back and challenge for points.
“Tomorrow I will start from the back of the grid because of the penalty we got at the United States Grand Prix, but in Monza and Austin we proved that we can fight for points even in difficult starting situations,” said Kvyat. “I did a good lap in Q1 but, considering the grid penalty, we decided not to go out during Q2, even if I think I could have definitively fought for Q3. Sometimes there are difficult decisions to make but that’s also part of racing.
“Everything can happen during the race and I’m confident that we still have a chance to fight for points tomorrow.”
Vergne has been on the back foot for the majority of the weekend after missing morning practice on Friday to allow Max Verstappen another chance in his car, and then stopping early in free practice two. He felt he was unable to get the best out of the car, finding it hard to drive with a lack of balance that saw him eliminated in the first stage of qualifying.
“Not having completed a lot of mileage in preparation for today’s qualifying session, I couldn’t get the best out of the car, which was very difficult to drive today,” said Vergne. “This is not an easy track and there are a few corners in which you really lose a lot of time if you do not have the right balance. If you consider the lack of mileage and the fact that we’ve struggled with the tyres for the whole weekend, we just didn’t manage to set up the car to my liking.
But of course, the race is tomorrow and everything can happen, especially here. I’ll do my best!”