Daniil Kvyat expected to set the fastest time on day three of pre-season testing once he switched to the softest tire compound, but says a faultless day of running was more impressive than topping the standings.
The Toro Rosso had already moved up into the top three with a lap on the C4 compound tire — the second softest in the range — but then used the even softer C5 and duly went fastest overall. Kvyat was only 0.058s quicker than Kimi Raikkonen on the same tire, but says it was no surprise to go top given the compound he used.
“Yes, we expected that,” Kvyat said. “It was a very good day, we did all the work we wanted and even more. It was important to do a lot of laps after the first day hadn’t gone according to the plan. So it was a good day.
“I think the amount of laps we did (is most pleasing) and how pretty much on program we were all the time. We didn’t have any setbacks. We were really banging through the program and we had no major issues. The guys did a great job so I am happy to be a little bit tired today.”
Kvyat managed 137 laps on Wednesday and is encouraged by the way the Toro Rosso is reacting so far during the first test, while he also has praise for the reliability of the Honda power unit.
“Honestly, I would like to say [the car] does feel good. It feels to my liking so far, every time I’m out there, I pretty much know what it’s going to do for me so it’s a nice feeling so far. Of course, it’s early days but the better the start, it’s always welcome. We plan to keep improving and keep working on the car.
“We obviously don’t know what settings the engineers were running today, it’s up to the engineers to analyze this kind of data, but from my side, what was the point was that we got all the reliability to do all the laps. We did many laps today, one shy of Kimi, unfortunately. I feel bad about it! But many laps, that’s what I’m looking for. It’s important and Honda is providing this good reliability.”
Kvyat’s time is the fastest lap of the week so far, although the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have yet to run the softest tire compound.