Apr 21, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is 19 years old, and he’s already more than a fifth of the way to scoring as many World Championship points as his age through just his first four Grands Prix.
The rookie posted his third points scoring result in the first four races, with his only a miss an 11th at Bahrain. Sunday in China, he ended 10th, ending ahead of teammate Jean-Eric Vergne and both McLaren-Mercedes among other luminaries in the second half of the grid.
“I had a good start and I managed to make up some positions during the first lap,” said Kyvat, who started 13th but quickly moved into points-scoring positions. “Our pace was very strong today and I enjoyed the fight with Jenson pretty much throughout the race. We did a good job with the tyre management, so we were able to stay out longer.”
Although he’s been pleased with the quick start, Toro Rosso, like most teams in the field, will be primed to upgrade entering the European portion of the season.
Kyvat made Q3 in Melbourne with eighth place – still, Vergne has made it to Q3 three times in four races and on all occasions, outqualified the rookie. That’s something Kyvat seeks to improve upon for future races.
“Even though it all went very well today, I think there’s still a lot more to come from the car, so I’m really looking forward to starting the European part of the season, where I hope to get some more points,” Kyvat said.
Vergne, who finished 12th, was diplomatic in his post-race comments although frustrated with himself to lose time from ninth on the grid at the start.
“First of all, congratulations to Daniil for his good race and another point for him and the team,” said the third-year Frenchman. “As for my race, I had a bad start and a bad first lap. We need to understand what happened exactly to improve this aspect. After that, I could not make the best out of the option tyres because I was stuck behind Button, so it was not possible to build a gap and pull away.
“It was definitely a tough race but we should not have to forget some positive aspects: we had a really good qualifying yesterday, the general pace was not bad and we know exactly the direction to take in order to improve. This is the reason why I’m convinced that we can be stronger in a few weeks’ time in Barcelona.”