AlphaTauri on ‘right path’ to catching McLaren

Mark Scott
Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat thinks AlphaTauri are on the “right path” to eliminating the gap to McLaren, as well as Racing Point and Renault.

The Red Bull sister team, with a Formula 1 win to their name after Pierre Gasly’s stunning win at Monza, sit P7 in the Constructors’ Championship heading into round 10 at Russia.

With Mercedes in a league of their own and Red Bull sitting comfortably in second, the best of the rest battle is currently being won by McLaren in third place.

AlphaTauri are 53 points behind McLaren in the standings, but Kvyat has them in his sights over the course of the next few races.

“I would say our car has been looking more competitive in these last few races, with continuous progress being made,” he said.

“In general, it’s a very tight midfield and, as we have seen in normal circumstances, without any unusual events in the race, we are slightly behind McLaren, Racing Point and Renault.

“However, we are talking about very tiny margins. We are looking to completely eliminate that gap in the near future and I believe we are on the right path to doing so.”

The Russian Grand Prix represents Kvyat’s home race and naturally he is looking forward to it.

He continued: “It’s great to have a home race and nice to go where people are the same nationality as you and support you. Of course, I’m quite excited about the weekend, as there is always a special feeling for me when I’m in Sochi.

“We already had some fans allowed in Mugello and I believe there will be even more in Sochi, which will be very cool.

“Of course, it will be important to keep everyone safe, but like every race, there are checks and measures in place to ensure that.

“I hope the spectators will really enjoy the show. I think the grandstand at Turn 3 is still named after me, so I hope that will have plenty of fans.

“That corner has a very long apex which looks good, although to be honest it’s not too difficult and you take it flat in the dry in qualifying, although you are steering round it for a long time.

“With mainly medium speed corners and some slow ones in the final sector, you need to find a good compromise in terms of downforce. Once you find the right balance you are in a happy place.

“With low tyre degradation, you might think it will just be a one-stop race, but we will have to be careful, running quite soft compounds. As usual, we will have a busy Friday trying to understand everything.”

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Kvyat secured back-to-back points finishes at the two Italian races and was a big fan of the layout at Mugello.

“That wasn’t an easy race for us, but I managed to keep out of trouble with all the incidents and red flags,” he reflected.

“I concentrated on keeping focussed and keeping it clean because in these sorts of situations that’s what normally brings you a good result.

“I believe we managed that quite well as a team and got the maximum amount of points we could have done. I enjoyed Mugello, a track with gravel traps, which is the way racing should be really.

“It made every high-speed corner even more exciting: one small mistake and you are in the gravel trap. We didn’t need to have discussions about track limits.”

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