Daniil Kvyat says his initial impression of F1's new qualifying format is 'a mess' but isn't expecting it to be too different as he spent the day getting to grips with the new Red Bull Tag-Heuer.
The Russian driver took over from team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for his debut in the RB12 with its TAG-Heuer-branded engine and enjoyed gentle progress by notching up 74 laps with the best time of 1m 26.497s to take ninth overall.
However, it was events off the track which grabbed the headlines as the FIA approved a new qualifying format in F1 with an elimination-style countdown which will leaves two cars to fight for pole position.
Kvyat says he was perplexed by the initial explanation but upon further investigation doesn't see the new system as a huge leap from the previous model.
“The first time I read it, it looks a bit like a mess but then I think it probably doesn't actually change so dramatically, but yes it is going to be interesting,” Kvyat said. “I hope it will work well.
“I think it will be tighter qualifying in terms of you need to put good laps in at the right time and this will be even more crucial now. It is always aimed to improve the show and put more thrill inside of this, so hopefully it will do its mission.
“My favourite qualifying was 2004, 2003 when it was single lap. It was proper, you go out, you go for it, but it was not so fair in terms of track conditions at times. There are always some positives and negatives, so let's see if this one will be the best one, but the current one was not too bad, let's see if this one will be better.”
Reflecting on his work on track Kvyat feels he has established a strong base set-up with the new Red Bull and will look to crank up the mileage and the lap times gradually tomorrow on the final day of the first test.
“It was good, what we can see is that we are moving in the right direction,” he said. “We need more mileage to develop what we have at the moment, but tomorrow will be better. Always the first day in the car there are a few systems checks and stuff like that, but generally it was a positive day, more positives.
“We ideally would like to have more mileage. This is the aim for tomorrow and this will help me and team to develop the package. So we need to start making more laps.”