It was a mixed qualifying session at Silverstone for Scuderia Toro Rosso as Alex Albon qualified ninth, but teammate Daniil Kyvat found himself stranded in seventeeth.
Albon made it all the way through to Q3 but Kvyat was left behind in Q1 and the two drivers had completely different Saturday’s.
Albon was understandably pleased with his ninth position finish and added: “I’m happy with that! We’ve always been in the top ten this weekend but we knew the others would turn it up in Qualifying, our balance just got better and better through the weekend and it came together.
“After a tough couple of races, it’s really good to be back in Q3. I’m really happy with the car and I love this track, the car has been feeling good all weekend and when the track started to get more grip, I felt more comfortable and was able to get more performance from the car. Our race pace looked promising in FP2 yesterday and we were looking quite good with tyres, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow, I’m looking forward to it!”
Despite Albon’s joy with his Saturday performance, it was a completely different feeling on Kvyat’s side of the garage as he failed to make it through Q1.
Instead, he’ll have to start from seventeenth on the Silverstone grid and he wasn’t happy with the balance of his car during Saturday’s qualifying session.
“I think our car wasn’t in the right window today and I wasn’t really happy with the balance. This weekend has been a but out of rhythm for me, so we need to analyse what happened to understand what we can do for tomorrow. We had flashes of improvement like in FP3, but when it came to Qualifying, the car wasn’t doing exactly what I wanted it to do. When the midfield is as tight as it is now, a tenth or two drops you out in Q1.”
With two different results on either side of the garage, it was a mixed day of emotions for the crew too. Technical director Jody Egginton was left a little confused by the result, especially after a consistent Friday.
“The car balance during Friday was reasonable on both sides of the garage with our long and short run performance being ballpark and, as a result of this, the engineers have been able to focus their efforts to incremental improvements across all areas overnight. Car balance and performance was in line with the expectations in FP3 but Qualifying panned out very differently across the garage, with Dany not managing to escape Q1, whilst Alex made it to Q3 finishing in P9, which is a solid result.”
Following the two varying results, Egginton and his team faced a long night ahead as they were preparing the cars for Sunday’s race and attempting to get to the bottom of Kvyat’s problems to ensure he has a good chance on track.
Egginton said: “Whilst we are of course pleased with this result, we also need to understand what was preventing Dany from extracting the best from his car in Qualifying, as up to this point he had shown good pace. Our attention now shifts to preparing for the race tomorrow and there is a lot of work ahead for the strategy engineers tonight to define the best options for both drivers. Given our level of competitiveness so far this weekend, we are looking to continue this trend tomorrow in what we feel will be an exciting race.”