Daniil Kvyat has fond memories of the Shanghai International Circuit after taking his second career podium in 2016, even if his Red Bull Racing career was to last only one further race before returning to Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The Russian finished third last season but received criticism from Sebastian Vettel after an aggressive move into the first turn, but was unfazed when confronted by the German after the race, and Kvyat felt that it was his one big highlight of last season.
“It was a very nice feeling to stand on the podium in China last year, I have very good memories of that moment, it was cool!” said Kvyat.
“This was the second podium of my career, after achieving my first one in Hungary 2015 – definitely two big highlights!”
Kvyat admits that he enjoys driving around the Chinese circuit, and feels there are opportunities for overtaking, something that was distinctly lacking during the first race in Australia two weeks ago.
“I have to say it’s a track I really enjoy driving at – it has very unusual and unique corners like Turns 1 and 2, where you can take many different lines,” said Kvyat.
“Then it also has long straights where you can have good battles and take advantage of the many overtaking opportunities; and the fans are also very passionate there, which is good. I always receive a lot of support from them, which is nice!”
Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr is hopeful of backing up his eighth place finish in Australia with another good result in China, and despite the race being the first of two in consecutive weekends – the Bahrain Grand Prix follows the week after – he feels ready for the challenge.
“Back-to-back race weekends don’t really affect me in any way,” said Sainz. “You just approach each race with the same mentality, keeping in mind that you have two consecutive GP weekends.
“The toughest part is getting used to the time change quickly, but that’s not usually a problem for me. You just go for it – this is the first back-to-back of the season so it’s still early in the year to feel tired!”
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