Fresh from the news that Dany Kvyat will stay on to partner Carlos Sainz in 2017, Toro Rosso had further reason to celebrate come race day as the Spanish driver stormed his way to an impressive 5th place at the Circuit of the Americas.
Formula 1 fans welcomed the news that Kvyat would be retained next season, after what has been a year for him to mostly forget. The Russian driver, safe in the knowledge that he would deservedly remain at the pinnacle of motorsport, looked to get close to the points based on the practice session running. Unfortunately, the day did not go exactly per plan.
Kvyat had a tangle with Sergio Perez saw him receive a 10 second penalty which forced a strategy change which he ultimately attributed to his finish spot:
“we then had to switch to a one-stop race after getting a 10-second penalty for my incident with Perez during the first lap. This compromised our race”
He however was pleased with certain aspects of his race:
“I have to say we did a very long stint on the Medium tyre and the management was very good. It’s just a shame that we lost the opportunity to fight for some more points today.”
With just three races left in 2016, Kvyat, more than the other drivers it can be argued, will be happy to see the final flag, hopefully with a few points in the bag.
The only thing that made his superb 6th place drive better for the Spanish driver was the wheel to wheel fight with his idol Fernando Alonso:
The battle with Fernando was so much fun! I knew that he would end up getting past me but I said to myself, ‘let’s make it a bit complicated for him!’ I perfectly know how he attacks and how to defend against him, as I’ve been watching him race for the past 12 years… And I think that to be able to keep him behind for all those laps until he just opened the DRS and said ‘ciao, ciao’ was pretty decent!
The impressive element was not just how well Sainz held the race together, but especially the final few laps in which his tyres barely held on to the flag. The driver was clearly and justifiably excited after the race and the infectious feeling will boost the team into the final three races:
“Today’s result is a very special one for myself and the team, it’s a top, top, TOP result!! What a boost and what a way to motivate the team and keep our heads up until the end of the season! I don’t know what this track has, but I just get such a good feeling every time I race here!”
With all well in the TR camp, unlike some of their unsettled rivals, namely Williams, the team can focus on maximizing the full potential of their Ferrari engine car and, of course, the points that come along with it.
(Image Courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media)