Daniil Kvyat says the Toro Rosso team will be concentrating on doing their job right rather than striving to cause an upset in qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Russian's performance – and that of team-mate Carlos Sainz – left STR as the third best team on pure times after Thursday's two free practice sessions in the Principality, with both drivers ahead of a troubled Ferrari in the pecking order, but Kvyat insists that Saturday would probably see the grid take on a more familiar appearance.
“If we do everything right, I think we're looking good for qualifying,” he admitted, “Looking forward, I'm really hungry to make a good session on Saturday and I think we have potential, but we want to make this car shine because it deserves to shine.
“We will do our best with our homework, but we'll not be thinking too much about making surprises, just about doing our job as normal and, then, where we are is where we deserve to be.”
Monaco is Kvyat's second race back in the Toro Rosso fold and he concedes that, while he is settling in nicely after the shock of being exchanged for Max Verstappen, there are still some creature comforts that he would like to have in his new surroundings.
“For sure, it wasn't easy [changing cars] and it took a bit extra space from the brain because it you have to think maybe twice at times to understand, or perhaps you forget something or have to double check, but now everything seems quite normal and is quite comfortable so it's not a problem,” he confirmed.
“I think, in quick fix terms, we have done everything we can but, longer term, I think there are things that I would like for myself, personal things, but that might take a bit longer. It needs a bit of time to get put on the car and it might not make lap time right there, but I will be more comfortable in the car, with more confidence. It's more or less okay, but you can always optimise it for yourself - the way the steering wheel is behaving, etc. I always have my own preferences, like many other drivers, so I always try to achieve it, and the team has been mega-supportive so far with everything they have done for me.
“I think the feeling with the car is getting better and better all the time. I had the test day in Barcelona and, from now on, we can start to do the normal job because I got to know the car well enough. Obviously, that process will never stop, but so far so good.”
Kvyat showed no signs of discomfort as he powered his way to fifth on the day one timesheets in Monaco, and was at the right end of the order for much of the day, despite only making a late run on the new Pirelli ultrasoft.
“I think we had quite a good Thursday, did many laps and ticked most of the boxes which is very good for the whole team,” he reported, “Everything looks quite okay, quite good and, straight out of the box, I was feeling quite good and comfortable with the car. So we hope to maintain, and even improve, this feeling for Saturday because we know there are some areas where we can maximise ourselves, like many other teams.
“I think we know that the Toro Rosso car is nice and a good, sharp car so we expected this kind of track to be good for us and that's confirmed itself today. Like I said, right out of the box, the feeling was quite positive and, lap by lap, the confidence was growing as well. But, like I said, I think there are a few things we can maximise if we do our homework well.
“Obviously, it is Thursday at Monaco and you are trying to find the limit, but we're not quite there yet. It's the same for everyone I guess, but the car felt comfortable and usually you find the limit in qualifying. Hopefully, that's going to be the case.”