Kvyat 'speaking a different language' to AlphaTauri car as Gasly makes it into Q3 again
For AlphaTauri, fortunes contrasted massively between Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly in qualifying on Saturday at the Hungaroring, as Gasly made it to Q3 but Kvyat slumped to 17th place. For the Russian, it was the sixth straight race he has been outqualified by Gasly, who'd entered qualifying on the back foot with just 27 practice laps under his belt.
Afterwards Kvyat explained the root cause of his problems was his failure to 'click' with his AT01 car.
“It was a tough weekend so far, we had some difficult sessions, they are not great for confidence,” he said. “Regarding the car set-up, usually you either click with the car straightaway or not, but I think me and my engineer crew, we have a lot of work to do trying to understand how to make the car suit myself better and I think once we understand that it should be much better.
“At the moment me and the car, we talk different languages so it’s normal to look for different set-up directions that will help you improve that,” he continued.
Kvyat’s Q3 lap was half a tenth slower than that of Haas’s Kevin Magnussen as he beat just Romain Grosjean and both Alfa Romeos to 17th on the grid.
In contrast, team mate Gasly was delighted with his day – even though an engine problem that was possibly carried over from FP1 on Friday stopped him from setting a lap in Q3, meaning that he had to settle for 10th on the grid for AlphaTauri.
“I was really happy especially because after not running in FP1, I didn’t drive in the dry except this morning a few laps [in FP3], I felt good in the car, was pushing quite hard, I managed to put everything together to get into Q3,” he said.
That Honda power unit glitch meant that Gasly was out of the car and doing interviews with the media as his rivals were taking part in the gripping top-10 shootout that saw Lewis Hamilton take a stunning pole. Gasly said it was a “shame” not to be part of that action, his second Q3 appearance of the season after qualifying P7 in Styria last time out.
“It’s quite a special weekend for us with [as] after the problem in FP1 we didn’t get any running," he said. We knew it would not be easy but this afternoon I felt good in the car, I had the pace, went into Q3 [in] P10, but we had some engine problems in the start of Q2 which meant we had to abort the last run in Q2 and it’s a big shame not to be driving right now."
Ninth in the championship with a seventh-place finish in the opening race, Gasly could still come away from Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix smiling as F1 completes its second-ever triple-header of races.