Daniil Kvyat says his final qualifying lap for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was “one of the best” of his Formula 1 career.
Kvyat will start Sunday’s 2020 finale from seventh on the grid, outqualifying AlphaTauri teammate Pierre Gasly for the second race in a row.
This is likely to be Kvyat’s final weekend as an F1 driver with Japanese F2 star Yuki Tsunoda tipped to replace him for 2021.
With his future in doubt, the 26-year-old played down questions that there was more pressure this weekend.
“I don’t think that at all,” Kvyat said. “I think it’s been always there. And you always want to perform in Formula 1, if it’s not for current future, it is for the next future.
“So it’s always there in the way. It’s up to you how you just transform it into a good result. [The lap was] certainly one of the best ever. I don’t have a special ranking, you know, I don’t go to sleep making a ranking of my best qualifying laps.
“But certainly it’s one of them. And I’m very happy that it came today. And yeah, was very clean, very strong. We understood [a] few things more about the car with my side of the garage, so really the car was working exactly how I like it.”
It was only the fourth time in 2020 Kvyat progressed into Q3, while teammate Pierre Gasly has made it 11 times this year.
The Russian says he’s found more confidence in the car and that has been reflected in his upturn of form since the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
“I always kept pushing. I understood the car better and better this year,” Kvyat added. “Maybe in the beginning of the year it was one of the cars that suited me the least ever in Formula 1 in the beginning of the year.
“But me and my side of the garage worked really hard. Like I mentioned many times from Spa onwards, we had a very positive turnaround of things.
“And now after Imola, let’s say, we are finding a new limit. And I think in qualis now, when the car suits me, I can be also very competitive.”