AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat will start this evening’s Sakhir GP from the third row thanks to a strong and tidy effort in Q3 that the Russian says was his “best lap of the year”.
The result was a season-best for Kvyat and only his third top-ten shootout of the year but also perhaps one of the last for the 26-year-old who will be replaced next season at AlphaTauri by Japanese F2 charger Yuki Tsunoda.
“I enjoyed the lap today, he said after qualifying. “A good lap in Q3 especially, consistent, strong. Happy. I think it’s the best qualifying lap of the year for me. Very tidy, very good.
“It’s so easy to make one small mistake, break the rhythm then you maybe lose a lot on the straight if you have a bad exit, so it was about driving to what the car has and the grip.
“You tried to track the track conditions at the same time and not go over it, but at the same time take a bit of risk as you need to be faster than the others.”
Kvyat said he isn’t expecting any free passes – literally – in Sunday’s race in which congestion will be a factor.
“I think we will see a big train of cars tomorrow, very close but like he [Perez] said it will be difficult to overtake,” he added.
“It’s going to be tight and narrow, and everyone will be trying hard. It will be a very interesting race tomorrow, very long.”
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Kvyat’s teammate Pierre Gasly who qualified ninth was obviously disappointed not to be higher on the grid, lamenting Sakhir’s “quite aggressive” track.
“After what we showed in FP3, it’s a bit disappointing to only be P9 in the end,” said the Frenchman.
“We showed strong pace all weekend but considering all the damages to the car, I don’t think there was much more we could do today.
“Overall, I think we have a good package, I’m a bit more worried about not breaking other parts on the car tomorrow as the track is quite aggressive, but as for the rest I’m quite confident that we can have a strong race.”
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