Daniil Kvyat admitted his fourth place in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix lifted a weight from his shoulders after Pierre Gasly’s run of strong results for AlphaTauri.
Gasly won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and delivered back-to-back top six finishes in Germany and Portugal before being confirmed at AlphaTauri next season. While Kvyat looks set to lose his seat, the Russian had a run of three top-10s in a row ended by a couple of tough races while Gasly scored big, but the Russian feels the result matched his performance level as he scored an impressive fourth behind Daniel Ricciardo in Imola, rising from seventh at the final Safety Car restart.
“It was a good race, a good, strong result,” Kvyat said. “And yeah, of course now I’m thinking more about the podium, because it was so close. It was really, really difficult on the restart, but I managed to do some good moves. By the time I (got to fourth), Daniel just warmed up his tires. It was very hard. Very close until the end, but… I had to do some brave racing. I had some fun.
“I believe always more and more in our potential, as a team, and me as a driver. And I keep feeling better in the car through the year. You know, there are some things that we understand – I mean, my side of the garage understands now – I wish we understood them a bit more in the beginning, how to make the car work a bit better, but we really got there.
“Since Spa, it was a good step. I mean, Pierre has been very fast this year. But since Spa, if you look at it, we were really close and very competitive. And it was a good race (in Imola). It’s very important for me to get this weight (off)… like a very strong result, very strong race, and I’m happy.”
After pulling a stunning move around the outside of Charles Leclerc to take fourth, Kvyat ensured AlphaTauri closed the gap to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship to 14 points, and he said the target is to overhaul the Scuderia in the final four rounds.
“We recovered only a couple of points,” he said. “Better than nothing, of course. I think it’s going to be a very close battle until the end. It seems like our pace is similar, sometimes in qualifying they look impressive, but in the race we catch up. We’ll try to do our best to beat them in the championship. Of course that’s a target, but we know it’s not easy, and we cannot think about it too much. We just need to focus on our job.”