Daniil Kvyat says Toro Rosso shouldn't give up on its target of finishing inside the F1 top five this season, but admits it could be about to enter a difficult period as development on the car plateaus.
The Russian, who re-joined the Toro Rosso team ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix as part of a driver shuffle that saw Max Verstappen go the other direction to Red Bull Racing, has struggled for results since with just a single point scored from the last four races.
Furthermore, with the team restricted on what it can introduce to the STR11 package because it is running a year-old Ferrari engine, Kvyat concedes Toro Rosso could suffer in the next few races until it can introduce aerodynamic developments.
“I think we'll see something [upgrade] in the European part of the season, but compared to teams like RBR and Ferrari we don't have such a rate of development. I don't expect it to be an easy next few races.”
Kvyat's pessimism comes as a double DNF in the European Grand Prix saw Toro Rosso slip well adrift of podium-winning Force India in the fight for fifth overall. Nevertheless, Kvyat has urged Toro Rosso not to give up on its bold pre-season targets.
“I don't think we should give up, but it seems like they are very strong and strong tracks for them are coming. I don't think we should focus on Force India or McLaren or whoever, we need to be a stable team because FI has been more consistent than us, so I don't think we shouldn't focus on that too much.
“We just need to do our part as best as possible and see what comes. We cannot think “Oh, Force India is on the podium” because it won't help us, what will help us is hard work and doing the right things in the right time.”
Sergio Perez's podium in Baku has allowed Force India to stretch 27 points clear of Toro Rosso in the overall constructors' standings, while McLaren is eight points adrift.