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‘We were too conservative’, says Kvyat

  • November 28, 2019
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Daniil Kvyat was looking much more like his old self in Singapore this weekend as he battled his way into the points at Marina Bay Street Circuit.

However, he felt that Toro Rosso might have played it too safe and could have achieved even more if they had been prepared to gamble. Kvyat started from seventh place and ran as high as fifth during the gruelling two-hour event, but he eventually had to settle for ninth when the chequered flag came out.

“Our strategy was a bit too conservative,” he said. “I’m happy because I took as much out of it in the circumstances, but I felt we didn’t even try to risk today unfortunately.

“Too conservative for our pace; if we wanted to fight with [McLaren’s Fernando] Alonso which I think we could we should have been more aggressive with the strategy,” he insisted. “I thought maybe we were going to get ahead of Alonso with clever strategy but we didnt manage to invent something clever today unfortunately.

“It was shame we didn’t risk enough with the strategy but that’s the only complaint I have about it,” he said. “[We should have] undercut people more aggressively and [left] the tyres on for longer, which I think we had the pace to do.”

Kvyat was involved in a pitched battle over several laps with Max Verstappen, that man who took his race seat at Red Bull earlier in the season. Kvyat refused to yield and Verstappen eventually had to back off because of tyre wear.

Kvyat insisted that a radio message reminding him that his real battle was with Alonso and not Kvyat hadn’t been a coded team order to let the Red Bull by.

“Absolutely not,” he stated unequivocally. “I was fighting and I think I did a good job … He had the faster car, but I kept him behind for two stints, which makes me think I’m pretty good!”

Later in the race Kvyat was finally forced to let Verstappen by, but it was in very different circumstances: “We fell behind [Force India’s Sergio] Perez so even if his tyres were more used, the engine and the straightline speed were more than enough to defend against us,” he added. “I tried to pass Perez and it was very hard to pass him because their straight line advantage is massive.

“I tried a really late braking manoeuvre and just went with four wheels outside in turn 7 and he managed to stay on the track. Then also Max passed him and I had to let Verstappen by [in order] to let Perez by, otherwise maybe I get a ten second penalty [for gaining an advantage by exceeding track limits] which would have destroyed our race.”

Even so, Kvyat had clearly thoroughly enjoyed the day’s racing action after what has been a difficult run of disappointing events.

“I enjoyed it a lot. The racing over this past month has been a big test of my passion but I’m loving it again so that’s mega. I pushed to the very last centimetre and left myself on the track.

“Great job from the team, we’re back in the points after a tough period. Good tyre management from our car, fast in both quali and race conditions so pretty satisfying to see that – but bigger challenges are ahead.”

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