Daniil Kvyat comes to the Hungaroring this weekend for the Hungarian Grand Prix on the back of a ‘surreal’ weekend at the Hockenheimring, with the Russian standing on the podium for the first time as a Scuderia Toro Rosso driver on Sunday and with the birth of his daughter on Saturday night.
After being eliminated in Q1 on Saturday in Germany, there was hardly any indication of what was to materialise on Sunday, with Kvyat being one of the early gamblers onto slick tyres, a move that paid off as he gained time on those who delayed their own stops to run as high as second, although Sebastian Vettel pulled off a late move to deny him that position.
“The last race in Germany was an incredible experience after stepping onto the podium again after three years,” said Kvyat. “It was special because we didn’t have an easy weekend before the race, we didn’t qualify well so it looked like it was going to be a difficult Sunday.
“To be on the podium the same weekend my daughter was born is a surreal feeling.”
Kvyat has not had much time to relax as Hungary is just around a corner, and the Russian returns to the venue where he achieved his best ever result in Formula 1 back in 2015, when he finished second during his tenure with Red Bull Racing.
“We travel to Hungary on Wednesday for the final race before the summer break,” said the Russian. “I like the Hungaroring because it’s interesting and unusual; plenty of slow-speed corners, which is why people say it’s like Monaco without the barriers.
“But it also has some high and medium-speed corners so it’s not really accurate to say it’s a slow speed circuit. The Hungaroring is where I got my best ever result in Formula 1 when I finished second in 2015, but that seems a long time ago now.”
Toro Rosso have enjoyed positive results at the Hungaroring in the past and Kvyat will be hoping they can achieve more good results in 2019, with the team now looking to consolidate their position in the Constructors’ Championship having jumped up to fifth as a result of their results last weekend.
“In the past, this has been a good track for Toro Rosso, so the key will be finding a good balance and hopefully it will be a successful weekend for us again this year,” added Kvyat. “Although the track is nice to drive, it can be tricky during the race if you get stuck behind slower cars as it’s very difficult to overtake and you might have to try a change of strategy.
“July is the hottest time of the year in Hungary and it gets very warm inside the cockpit, so it can be physically quite demanding, especially as there are no straights, so you can never ‘relax’.”