March 30th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Daniil Kvyat has already justified his position at Toro Rosso, finishing in the points in the first two races of his rookie season. In today's Malaysian Grand Prix, Kvyat brought his Toro Rosso home in 10th place, resisting a looming challenge from Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen.
Kvyat said after the race, “It’s good to finish in the top ten for a second time in a row now. This afternoon’s race was very difficult and intense with a lot of fighting. The first two stints were hard when I was fighting the Williams and McLaren in the early stages, but they were faster than me on the straight. I was quite happy with the final stint and having managed to defend my position.
"Overall it was a good weekend and I hope we continue to improve like this as the car definitely has potential. So I’m looking forward to going straight to Bahrain to race again in a week’s time. It will be interesting to be on a track where we have actually tested with this car.”
Kvyat is on a bit of a roll, having won the GP3 championship last season before being called up to race for Toro Rosso. He will be hoping to continue his run of points finishes for his new team as he settles into the top level of motor racing.
In the other Toro Rosso, Jean-Eric Vergne had a less successful afternoon. It was clear from the start that all was not well with his car, as he struggled for acceleration on the run to the first corner on the first lap, losing many places as a result. Some damage sustained in early contact affected his pace, but ultimately he was forced to retire after losing turbo power as a result of an air leak.
Vergne described his race: "I think I had a great start today but very soon I felt some problems with the car. I lost power in the car and I just saw everybody overtaking me. Then I found myself in a sandwich between a Caterham and Bianchi and maybe I was a bit too ambitious to think I could try and pass the two cars. It was just not possible and this resulted in the collision, which damaged my front wing.
"At this point I knew that my race was compromised, so I was hoping for some rain and maybe a safety car to change the cards on the table and re-join the pack. But then I continued to suffer with the car and my race was over."
Kvyat's result shows what the car was capable of this weekend. Vergne's own performance in Australia, where he finished eighth, adds to the evidence that this year's Toro Rosso is a reasonably quick car. Vergne expressed his disappointment at losing out on a likely points finish in Malaysia, saying, "It's really a shame, as this was a race in which we could have been strong and achieve a good result. The race pace on hard tyres was pretty good. On the positive side, we have a good car and we won't have to wait long before being back on track, as Bahrain is just around the corner."