Ricardo Penteado: "It’s fantastic to see Daniil qualify ahead of both McLarens and Ferraris..."
Daniil Kvyat (Q3: 1:41.908, pos. 7th): “It was a very good Qualifying session for us. I did a good lap in Q3 and I am happy that we achieved P7, even if we could have done a little better. We were very close to the 6th place, but nevertheless we are in a good position for tomorrow, also because I will start from the clean side of the track. It’s hard to fix a target for the race, I just hope to maximize our strong performance in Qualifying.
I think yesterday we correctly understood where our car could have been improved and we worked in the right direction. Now we’ll just have to work hard in order to get points tomorrow. I have good memories here from GP3 and I hope that tomorrow’s race will also turn out to be an experience to remember. It will be my last race with Scuderia Toro Rosso, I will miss the whole team and I will also miss speaking Italian. But tomorrow there is no time to be emotional: I will be totally focused on the race!”
Jean-Eric Vergne (Q2: 1:42.207, pos. 12th): “It wasn’t a bad qualifying session, even though I would have preferred to get into Q3. It’s been a difficult weekend, with a car which has always been very hard to drive, so at the end of the day to finish so close to Q3 is not such a bad result. All considered, it gives me the possibility to start the race with the tyres that I want tomorrow and I’m really convinced that our car will perform much better, as our race pace has been looking good for the whole weekend. With a good strategy, we should definitely be strong tomorrow and bring home some good and valuable points, to end the season on a high, for me and for the team.”
James Key (Technical Director): “From Friday we were quite happy with our high fuel pace, but we knew it might be difficult with our one lap pace for Qualifying. We had a bit of work to do, some of it was certainly car related and some was with tyres, but I have to say the team did a very good job, putting a lot of attention into many details and that has paid off. In FP3 we made a good step forward compared to yesterday, but we still had a few things to fix.
We managed to start our qualifying session with a reasonable balance on both cars, which meant a further improvement compared to FP3. We might have saved a set of tyres with Daniil in Q1, but it was very difficult to get a reference for the track conditions, so we played it safe. Q2 was good, with a very competitive lap from Daniil, making it to Q3. Jev made a big step but he lost a couple of tenths in the last corner and that was enough to keep him out of Q3.
It’s a shame, but he is in good shape for the race – we have a free tyre choice for the start and with a good strategy he can definitely show well tomorrow. As for Daniil in Q3, he did a great job getting very close to P6, but he made a slight mistake in turn 17. Overall, we are happy and now we look forward to tomorrow and the final race of the season.”
Ricardo Penteado (Renault Sport F1 track support leader): “It’s fantastic to see Daniil qualify ahead of both McLarens and Ferraris, especially as this will be his final race with the team. We pushed very hard to extract the most from both Power Units and the end result is extremely satisfying for everyone at Toro Rosso. The fight to make the top-10 was very close, so it's a shame to see Jean-Eric just miss out. But we’re really optimistic that both drivers can fight for points tomorrow, just as they achieved at the opening round in March. We’ll be checking and optimising every single parameter to ensure that happens.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso