[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] TORO ROSSO: KVYAT’S RETURN

Toro Rosso heads to Bahrain hopeful with last year’s race its best result of the season, and on merit, with Pierre Gasly qualifying sixth and finishing fourth, the Frenchman hailing it as “unbelievable”.

But the event also follows on from Australia, where Daniil Kvyat scored a point for 10th, his first since the 2017 US Grand Prix, keeping Gasly in the more competitive Red Bull behind him after passing on Lap 39.

It’s a positive start for the Russian, who returned to the team in Melbourne, after spending more than a year on the sidelines, much of it at Ferrari as a highly rated development driver working in the simulator.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIIL KVYAT,
F1 DRIVER, TORO ROSSO:
“It is very exciting to be back with the team. I know everyone very well, everyone knows me quite well here so we can kick off straight away with a lot of knowledge.”

Importantly, though, Kvyat has returned with a fresh mindset after he was dumped twice from Red Bull. Both its top team and B-team, a record that had crushed his speed, spirit and confidence.

But the 24-year-old has turned the corner.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIIL KVYAT,
F1 DRIVER, TORO ROSSO:
“My first-ever test was with Toro Rosso, my first ever race in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso as well. A bunch of very talented people and we’ll be working on extracting everything out of our talent this year.”

After Australia, Kvyat’s teammate Alexander Albon leads the way in terms of qualifying results. The Anglo-Thai driver just over a tenth ahead, but the Russian has a point in the bank.

Kvyat though, needs to up his game and quickly, if he wants to be a true pace benchmark to Albon and retain his drive into 2020.

And he can’t afford to be quiet or slow, as he once was at Red Bull Racing in 2015; the Russian losing pace as the mental pressure went skywards, despite kind words from then-teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIEL RICCIARDO,
RED BULL RACING, 2014-2018:
“I think Dany [Kvyat] had a solid season, it started off a little bit slow for him but he picked himself up well and then I think he maintained that - he started to get more comfortable in the team, and he felt a bit more established.”

So it’s a good start for Kvyat 3.0 as the Russian hopes for better luck third time around at Toro Rosso since 2014.