Daniil Kvyat was enjoying another solid weekend in Bahrain, up until the team made what was described as an 'operational error', meaning that the Russian was put onto used tyres for his final run in Q2.
This came after a strong performance in Q1, where he finished ahead of both his teammate Alexander Albon, but also beat Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull to finish twelvth. However, when he was sent out for his final run he asked the team on the radio: “Have you sent me out on used tyres?”
His Toro Rosso team then replied telling him to come back to the pits at the end of the out-lap to which Kvyat asked: “Do we change tyres? His engineer responded: “No, that was it, we don’t have time.”
Once the session was over, the Russian told the media: "I aborted the second run in Q2 because there was an operational issue with the car. Was it the tyres? Maybe yes, maybe not.
“Maybe it’s frustrating, maybe it’s not. To be honest we have to work on it. We have to understand it and see what happened. Without doing the last run I can’t fully judge my qualifying. I didn’t do the last run so I cannot compare with Alex."
He did however remain optimistic about his chances in the race on Sunday.
“We scored points in Australia and I’m confident we can score points tomorrow,” he said. “I’m pretty confident, I think we can use this position to our advantage but it’s not like we just turn up and go.
"We start 15th so we need to be realistic, we need to do our race and see what we can get out of it. Hopefully we can make something good out of it, so we’ll try our best.”
On the other hand, this misstep coupled with a good lap from teammate Albon meant that the Anglo-Thai driver will line up in twelfth on the grid, just missing out on a maiden Q3 appearance by 0.043s.
“Not a bad qualifying session,” Albon summed up. “It felt a little bit like Melbourne - we were on the back foot in FP2 and FP3, just struggling with the track and it looked like everyone was sliding about a bit and myself included.
“There were definitely some things in FP3 that I wasn’t happy with and we tuned some of that out for quali - so on my first lap I already thought that it was a lot more forgiving and predictable, so that’s where the pace came from.
“In terms of qualifying, I’m happy with the performance and we should have been in Q3. I ran wide in that last corner, which didn’t lose me as much time as I thought but I think we were dealing with four hundredths to Kimi [Raikkonen]. It’s a shame.”
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