12 October 2015
F1 Russian Grand Prix: Kvyat questions Red Bull strategy
Despite claiming a top five finish at his home event, Daniil Kvyat believed he could have taken more from Sochi Autodrom had his gameplan been different.
Daniil Kvyat has hinted that he may have been able to extract more from his home grand prix had Red Bull Racing given him the benefit of the doubt when it came to pit strategy.
With the smooth surface at the Sochi Autodrom not causing too many headaches for tyre technicians – despite Pirelli opting to bring its soft and supersoft compounds to Russia – the 53-lap grand prix was only ever likely to feature a single change of tyres for each driver. Despite running ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, having jumped the Aussie on a chaotic opening lap, Kvyat was passed over when it came to the pit window, with Ricciardo being called first.
Kvyat was still running behind the Australian at the point of the latter's retirement but crossed the line in sixth place, before being promoted to fifth by Kimi Raikkonen's post-race penalty. Crossing the line nine seconds behind Felipe Massa, the Russian was left to wonder what might have been.
“I think strategy could have been slightly better today but, nevertheless, it's a learning process for everyone,” he said magnanimously, “I think we're all clear why I was on the other side of the strategy but, nevertheless, given the strategy, we squeezed everything out of it and eight points at the end of such a complicated race is a very good achievement.
“Looking back, maybe I would have preferred to have been the first car to pit, but let's see what will come out of the analysis – maybe I am completely wrong with my feelings. Let's see what the team has to say, and what I have to say, all the arguments, then put it all together and we'll decide. It's just, as I say, a learning process together.”
Ricciardo's retirement was later put down to suspension problems, denying Red Bull a double points finish, but Kvyat admitted that he hoped his top five finish would go some way to persuading the drinks brand to remain in the sport.
“I hope we're showing that, even though we have problems not having the most competitive power unit, we are still squeezing some points from every race, we are still fighting, we are showing good pace,” he argued, “We are just missing something. Red Bull's style is to win championships and I think we will soon be back to that path.
“Right now though, I'm looking forward to Austin because I think it will suit us a little better – I'm looking forward to those high speed corners!”
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