Daniil Kvyat believes he had the “potential” to win with Red Bull, just as his replacement Max Verstappen did in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
Red Bull took the decision last week to promote Verstappen to its senior team and the Dutchman immediately rewarded them by taking a shock historic win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Asked if he sees it as a win that got away, Kvyat, who has been demoted to Toro Rosso, replied: “I don't care to be honest. I'm now doing my own job with my own new car. Of course it makes me think that I had the potential to do it, of course, no doubt. It just shows that we have the potential to do it, simple as that.”
Meanwhile, Kvyat added that he was happy with his first race back with Toro Rosso, eventually finishing tenth to claim the final point after a late pass saw him overhaul Esteban Gutierrez.
“I think plenty of positives, the second half of the race was very competitive,” he continued. “Plenty of positives to pick up [on], a good race. In the end we had a strong pace, we could have got a lot more points probably without being lapped. The first half of the race was a bit difficult, we lost some time, but then once we got in clean air it was all very competitive so I'm very happy.”
Quizzed on his early difficulties, the Russian added that the start was poor as he is still getting to grips with the brakes.
“I have no confidence on the brakes, with a new car it's always very difficult,” he explained. “I broke quite early [for Turn 1] and of course they overtook me. Then I was always boxed in between cars … just bad luck on the first lap.
“Then I had to give two positions back after the safety car which didn't help at all, we lost a lot of time there. Generally it made our race difficult so it's another few points which we lost. But it was still a positive race.”
Kvyat also believes the test this coming week will be crucial as he looks to adapt more to the Toro Rosso.
“It will be very important to get a good test, do as many laps as possible and try many things for myself as possible. It will be crucial. We will try as many things as possible which I would like to see … A little bit of everything needs optimising for myself and it should be good,” he concluded.