Daniil Kvyat feels that he’s “much closer” on track to Pierre Gasly now, and puts it down to being more comfortable with his car.
The Russian has almost certainly lost the inter-team battle to his team-mate this season, currently trailing by 37 points with four races left.
However, he has closed the gap in recent races, beating the Frenchman in two of the last four races, with his P4 finish in Imola being his best of the season.
“It’s a bit of everything you know,” he told Motorsport.com when asked about his recent improvement.
“I can’t go into much detail but there are things that you can do to improve this feeling. For example, it can be the power steering, but there are other things too.
“And we took a bit of gamble in a way. During the season, sometimes it’s not a simple thing to change and it can be risky, because if you go even worse than you’re really in a bad place. But luckily, things have improved.”
“Things have been much closer and more competitive against Pierre. I felt like Pierre was really comfortable in the car since the beginning of the season whereas I wasn’t.
“He was doing an amazing job, of course, it takes a lot, but sometimes it is a case that you jump in a car and it immediately suits you. Sometimes though you jump in it, and you say, ‘okay, this doesn’t suit me, so we have some work to do’.
The size of the gap between the two is largely due to Kvyat’s slow start to the season, in which he scored just four points in the first seven races, while Gasly picked up 25 in Monza alone.
He says this is because he wasn’t happy with the setup of the car, which set him back considerably.
“When I started the season I wasn’t entirely in sync with the car, and I had a not-so-great feeling with the steering wheel,” he added.
“So we had to change a few things on the car around that area for me to gain as much feeling as possible. It meant we had to give up some things, and also it meant that we had to learn some features of the car again because we changed things for me to have a better feeling.
“But from there on, I think things started to go in a lot better way. Of course, we had to understand things again, with the setup and things like that, but I had a better feeling in the car. It was more consistent.