Daniil Kvyat looks back with satisfaction on his first year with Honda in Formula 1 and concludes is a positive fashion after the first season with new F1 engine admitting that the “Disadvantage very small”.
Although the Russian knew the Toro Rosso team very well, he had to adjust to the completely new engine for his comeback. The sister team also benefits from the Red Bull partnership, he notes. “That helps a lot.”
“Honda is very motivated to develop the best possible product. They are doing very well, they are constantly improving,” Kvyat observed in his comeback year at Toro Rosso. He believes that the distance to the top engine has shrunk “extremely”.
The Japanese manufacturer was able to polish up its image significantly in just one year. From the “GP2 engine” (quote Fernando Alonso) to the winning drive, Sakura was able to celebrate three times together with the British-Austrian team.
Kvyat’s podium in Germany was also particularly emotional. The Russian finished third in the chaotic rain race behind Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.
“We’ll see if we can completely eliminate the gap to the top next year. That would be great. But even now, the disadvantage is very small.”
Kvyat 2019 only felt a power deficit on a few Saturdays in qualifying. “This too will be improved. Honda is definitely on the right track,” he is convinced.
Meanwhile, the senior team Red Bull Racing and their lead driver Max Verstappen believes his team now has what it takes to mount a Formula 1 title challenge this year, as long as car development goes as planned.
Asked by Autosport if he now believes his team can challenge Mercedes at the top, he responded by saying “I think so.”
“I think we are in the right direction. There’s no question about that. Now, it’s just about how much development we can push through.
“I more or less know, I just hope it’s going to be enough. There are no real changes in the regulations anyway, so you can just build on what you have now. And with a second year working with Honda, I think that should help.”
“We know that we have to be there from the start if you want to fight for the championship.” concludes the Dutchman.