Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat says he felt good immediately as he jumped back into an F1 car for the first time in a year.
The young Russian driver struggled towards the end of his ‘first’ F1 career. Having been unceremoniously dumped by Red Bull Racing in early 2016 to make way for Max Verstappen, his form was very much hit & miss over the following eighteen months with junior team Toro Rosso. This led to Red Bull releasing him completely as they brought in Pierre Gasly & Brendon Hartley.
However, a year on the sidelines working as a development driver with Ferrari seems to have allowed Kvyat to regain lost confidence and he is now going back to work with Red Bull at Toro Rosso – the team having ditched another former Red Bull Academy driver in Brendon Hartley. His first day back at work with the team saw him driving Day 2 of the Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi, where Kvyat clocked up 155 laps. This, coupled with Sean Gelael’s 150 laps on Day 1, meant that Toro Rosso completed the highest mileage they’ve ever managed at two days of testing – good news as Honda strive for more reliability.
“I think today was a very positive and good day as we covered 155 laps, which is about three Grands Prix in one day.” said Kvyat, who was sporting a plain black helmet for his first day back.
“To be honest, I felt comfortable and confident straight away in the car which was great. What’s important about today was we were able to test a good amount of tyres for next year, gathering a lot of useful information and data for the team. I’m feeling really comfortable here and it’s great to be back, I’m really looking forward to next year!”
Team boss Franz Tost welcomed Kvyat back to work: “We were all more than happy to see Daniil back in Toro Rosso for the second day of testing, and he was able to immediately show a good performance. With all of the new data we’ve gathered, the engineers have a valid platform on how to prepare and run the tyres next year. “
“In two days, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda managed to complete an impressive 305 laps (1694km). This is the highest mileage we have ever achieved in a two-day test, so I’d like to congratulate the team and Honda for their hard work, as they’ve prepared a very reliable car.
We’re already looking forward to the next season, Daniil and Alex [Albon] are very competitive drivers and we can’t wait to see them on track.”