Guillaume Dezoteux felt Scuderia Toro Rosso did all they could to maximise their performance during Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, with Daniil Kvyat set to start ninth and Alexander Albon eleventh.
The team had a good final free practice session on Saturday morning with Albon eighth fastest and Kvyat eleventh, but it was almost role reversal during Qualifying, with the Russian making it through to the top ten shootout for a second consecutive race weekend, while the Anglo-Thai racer is still searching for that breakthrough appearance in Q3.
Dezoteux, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Toro Rosso, said the drivers and engineers did a very good job to get as high up the grid as they did, particularly in the light of the changeable track conditions around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and traffic levels during Qualifying.
“FP3 was smooth on both sides of the garage, and our main challenge of today was to adapt to the cooler conditions that were not really expected,” said Dezoteux. “We worked on the Qualifying preparation and Alex was able to finish the session with a competitive lap.
“It was a bit more difficult for Daniil, and it seemed clear we had some more work to do to make him happier with his car. Given he made it into Q3 again I think we can say we achieved this goal.
“In Qualifying, Daniil outpaced most of our direct competitors and Alex was not far away at all. This was again a very tight midfield and the engineers did a very good job to adapt the cars to track evolution and manage traffic during the session.”
Dezoteux believes there should be some good opportunities to score points with both drivers on Sunday, particularly with their apparent strength of their long-run pace during free practice on Friday, with track conditions on Sunday set to be similar to as they were then.
“For tomorrow, our strategy options are open, and we are analysing all the scenarios to convert these good grid positions into points,” said Dezoteux. “Our Friday long run pace was competitive and the track conditions should be similar to FP2, so there could be some good opportunities.”