Toro Rosso duo revel in tight on-track scrap in France
The French Grand Prix did not yield any points for Toro Rosso, but that didn’t stop an intense battle between Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat that the latter admits could have proven very expensive…
Kvyat started from the back of the grid as a result of penalties for taking Honda’s new spec power unit, but the Russian climbed through the field and chased down Albon in the closing stages as they fought for 14th.
After a number of laps fighting, with both drivers giving each other space, Kvyat passed his team mate to cap off a decent recovery to P14 at Circuit Paul Ricard in a race that featured just one retirement.
“It was a good race overall, I think it was the maximum result,” said Kvyat. “They let us race with Alex - well I asked for us to be able to race because we were outside of the points anyway so why not try and race? It was good fun.
“Good overtaking manoeuvres - both Williams, both Haas, with Alex - but in the end we just tried to squeeze everything out of the race. Even though we were outside of the points it’s important to do the exercise of just trying to do the best race possible wherever you are.
“Competitiveness-wise we have to analyse it and understand what could have been if I started further ahead, but all in all I was happy with how my side of the garage conducted and managed the race. It was pretty good, like it has been lately.”
As part of his rise, Kvyat overtook Kevin Magnussen around the outside of Signes and said the move was one of his highlights of the race.
“It was a 300kph corner and full pushing,” he said. “I was hoping that we would leave each other space. I tried to leave him as much room as possible and I tried to stay within track limits. It worked and was satisfying. That was cool. And the battle with Alex was also very cool.
“All in all I tried to have as much fun as possible without making it expensive for the team! Because it was close a couple of times!”
While Kvyat felt the need to check with the team as to whether he was allowed to fight his team mate, Albon simply took the approach of defending hard unless told otherwise.
“I just assumed!” Albon said. “If I’m going to get close they’re going to tell me so I just didn’t say anything. I let them speak to me first, but it was good fun.
“Obviously I knew crashing wasn’t an option, but nothing crazy. I tried to keep [the position], but we were on different tyres as well, he did the alternate so he was coming quite quickly. I knew he was quicker so didn’t want to crash for no reason.”