SILVERSTONE, 3rd July 2014 (F1 Plus / Graham Keilloh) - When Daniil Kvyat was confirmed for a Toro Rosso race seat for this season, direct from GP3, there was plenty of scepticism around. But he’s proved the doubters wrong with a series of fine rookie performances.
Today at Silverstone, eight races into his F1 career, Kvyat looked back on his freshman weekends with some satisfaction.
‘Looking back on it, I think we’ve been achieving maximum from ourselves, we’ve been taking maximum out from our package’ said the Russian. ‘I was always learning some new things, it’s been always a good improvement through the season. It’s been good but it doesn’t feel like half a season anyway. We’ll see what the next half of the season will bring us.’
And Toro Rosso’s Technical Director James Key today was effusive in his praise for his young charge.
‘His learning rate is absolutely amazing’ said Key. ‘(We’re) massively impressed. He came in relatively under-prepared if you look at perhaps what others have been able to do before their first season in F1. We felt we were onto a good thing when he did a couple of Fridays for us last year, when he shone quite quickly.
‘And at the moment he is this great mix of clearly talented, very confident inwardly but not the slightest bit difficult to deal with, really good to work with and he listens. So he knows what he wants to do, he’ll make decisions, the feedback is good, but he’ll also take the team’s advice, so that’s a perfect combination for this stage. So we’re really happy with him.’
Key also confirmed that Kvyat will be given mileage in the forthcoming Silverstone test to assist his driving further.
‘(It’s) to give him a bit of freedom to play with tyre management and other stuff. It’s something we never got to do before this season…we’ll set out a plan for that and run through it and maybe experiment with a few things as well, just give him a bit of freedom to play with the car…the nature of the track it’s quite a useful place to look at set-up and tyre management and so on.’
Kvyat’s team mate Jean-Eric Vergne also today reserved praise for the young Russian: ‘I think he is a really quick driver’ said Vergne, ‘and this is something really good because we push each other’.
On his recent form, wherein he’s failed to finish the last three races, Kvyat himself noted: ‘Well, yes, it’s true. We had quite good speed, which we couldn’t consolidate into some good result unfortunately. But last three races we couldn't come to the end, but I think it’s been a good sign that we do have speed, we do have something to fight for and we’ll just keep on fighting.’