Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly were satisfied with their performances in Qualifying ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring this weekend, the first race on the amended 2020 calendar due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Both Gasly and Kyvat made it in to the second stage of Qualifying, the Frenchman putting in a personal best time of 1:04.305, meaning he will line up twelfth. Kyvat put a 1:04.431 on the timesheets, meaning he will start just behind his team-mate in thirteenth position.
Gasly – “A good opportunity”
“I’m pleased with my result today. After yesterday’s practice sessions we might have expected that it was not going to be an easy Qualifying for us today, but overnight we managed to make some good improvements to the car. I think we can be happy with both cars in Q2,” said Gasly.
“At the moment that’s where we are, but we have a free choice of tyres and so many things can happen during a race, so hopefully this will give us a good opportunity to fight for points tomorrow. The target is always the same and we’ll push as much as we can to get a good result here at Red Bull’s home race.”
Kvyat – “The pace was there”
Kvyat also seemed happy with his performance, but admitted he could have done better as he made a couple of mistakes. He recognises that the circuit has also been a bit of a struggle for the team in previous years, but is confident they are starting from a position which will allow them to fight for points.
“It’s hard to know what to expect for the race, as today’s Quali is about a single lap and tomorrow it’s 71. Qualifying was ok, although to be honest my laps weren’t super tidy and I left some lap time on the table, because of a couple of mistakes,” said the Russian.
But the pace was there considering that we were unhappy yesterday in Free Practice 1 and worked hard to improve the car from then on. We got just about everything out of the car this afternoon.
“We lack a couple of tenths here, but historically this track has always been a bit tricky for us and we are already in better shape than we were here last year. We are starting from a position where we can fight for some points and have a strong clean race.”
The team’s technical director, Jody Egginton, said they have made good use of the upgrades brought to the car, but not being about to progress to the final stage of Qualifying shows where work still needs to be done.
“We felt Qualifying was going to be close. Both cars navigated Q1 without too much fuss and the first runs in Q2 were fine. However, we did not manage to take the next step in the final runs with either driver in Q2 in what was a very tight midfield.
“We were unable to make the cut for Q3 on this occasion, ending qualifying in 12th and 13th which is disappointing but has also highlighted the primary areas in which we need to improve our package.
“Our focus now switches back to preparations for the race and, with the qualifying positions providing us with some useful strategy options, we will be looking to take advantage of any opportunities,” said Egginton.