Kvyat: Pit stop drama cost us good points haul
Daniil Kvyat equalled Toro Rosso’s best result of the season with ninth place in Barcelona, but the Russian believes a pit stop error cost him at least two positions in the Spanish Grand Prix.
On a circuit that is notoriously hard to overtake on, Kvyat was in fine form around the sweeps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as he pulled off a number of moves including a pass on Kimi Raikkonen around the outside of Turn 4.
After getting ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Kvyat looked capable of ensuring Toro Rosso finished best of the rest but a slow pit stop, where the tyres were not ready, under the Safety Car demoted him behind the two Haas drivers. He recovered one place from Grosjean to end up ninth.
“It was entertaining, a lot of action,” Kvyat said. “There were many overtakes, I overtook both Haas on track, overtook Kimi, [Daniel] Ricciardo, a very good performance from me and from the team. But there was a bit of miscommunication, probably. I don’t know exactly what happened but we lost a lot of time in the pits because the tyres unfortunately weren’t ready.
“So we lost a potential P7, which is a pity but we will learn from it and there is no need for any dramas, obviously. It was a very good but also a little bit of a frustrating day. It will be learned from I’m sure. We slightly missed out.”
Despite the lost positions, Kvyat was keen to focus on the positives of Toro Rosso’s performance throughout the weekend, advancing to Q3 and then scoring points.
“Usually we get a quick pit stop, but it was a very long one because tyres weren't there. I was just hoping that we don't lose too many positions. Luckily we lost only (two). We just finished ninth, grabbed two valuable good points and everything is looking pretty good for the next races, so we'll just keep pushing.”
And Kvyat is confident Toro Rosso had the strongest package in the midfield on Sunday, as he still passed Romain Grosjean and put pressure on Carlos Sainz following the pit stop error.
“We were the fastest midfield team I think - I overtook Grosjean and I was catching Carlos. It was quite close with Carlos, maybe another lap we would get him but after the Safety Car restart he had the soft tyres on which meant he had a better warm-up so he was able to overtake me. But then when my tyres warmed up again I was able to catch him again but I just ran out of laps again.”
While Kvyat was still able to pick up points, team mate Alexander Albon was not so fortunate as he dropped out of the top ten after being held up by the Kvyat delay in the pits as the team attempted a double stop.
“It was a frustrating race to be honest,” Albon said. “Bad start, good first lap and we stuck to our strategy which was a two-stop. We were looking strong and the Safety Car came out which was even better for us. I was just managing where I was, I was quite happy with where we were, but unfortunately the pit stop then put us back.
“We’ll have to have a look at it. Definitely P8 and P9 was possible, we should have been there, but instead we’re P9 and P11. So it’s frustrating for all of us. We’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”