Daniil Kvyat is hoping to kick-start his 2016 F1 campaign with a run into the top ten at a race he claims has always been good to him.
The Russian had a season-opener to forget in Melbourne, as he struggled to find a competitive lap in the new-look qualifying session, gridding only 18th, but then failed to take the start after electrical problems stalled his Red Bull. Instead of Malaysia, however, Kvyat and RBR head to Bahrain for round two after the Easter break, and the youngster is hoping that previous good performances in the Middle East continue.
Although he has not necessarily racked up big points totals in Sakhir, the former GP3 Series champion has tended to transcend the potential of the machinery at his disposal and, with Red Bull still trying to reclaim its spot at the front of the field, is looking for a repeat this time around.
“To me, this track has been okay," Kvyat insisted, "Last year, there were a few issues but, in the race, it was fine, [and] I had an okay race there when I was at STR as well.
"There is a long straight which was our weakness last year but, this year, we are looking to find some improvements so it could turn out to be quite a competitive track for us. If we can grab a few good points for both cars, that would be great.”
RBR team-mate Daniel Ricciardo showed the potential of the new RB12, qualifying seventh before racing through to equal Australia's best finish in its home race, giving Kvyat some encouragement for a venue he rates as one of the more tricky on the schedule.
“The track is good - it might look like a simple, modern track but, actually, it's very challenging to put a strong lap together. The races in Bahrain are good too. There is a long main straight and good overtaking opportunity after turn one, then there is the tow again to turn four, so there are good opportunities to race."