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Qualifying surprise for Toro Rosso duo

NEWS STORY
15/03/2014

On a day when Sebastian Vettel struggled it is somewhat ironic that Red Bull's latest recruit should flourish. Daniil Kvyat qualified his Toro Rosso in eighth place, excelling in conditions which saw three former world champions flounder.

Kvyat and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne struggled throughout Friday with brake problems, an inconsistent pedal pitching them off the road as either the front or rear wheels locked. It's something the team worked hard on overnight, and which Kvyat, in particular, was pleased with.

"We made good progress today," he confirmed. "Straight away in P3 we felt it, at least to my liking."

Vergne was less enthusiastic about the change though he was still able to qualify in sixth spot even if he suggests it could have been better. "When I look back on my lap it's a bit of a shame as there were massive (debris on the track) and for the first time they show a yellow flag for the debris. They never showed it before. I was sure it was a yellow flag so I had to release four tenths; with four tenths I wold have been P4!

"But there is no points for qualifying," he added. "It's only 50% of the job done."

That both Toro Rossos made the top ten shoot-out is a testament to the efforts of Renault as much as the team itself. During winter testing the French company struggled and while it has some distance to go before it catches up with the likes of Mercedes there are some encouraging early signs it is heading in the right direction.

"They've done really well," agreed Vergne. "Okay they didn't have the best start but they are here, they're catching up."

"Two weeks or four weeks ago if we'd known we would be P6 and P8 I would said to you we would be very, very happy," added Kvyat. "Nevertheless we did a good job once again but we have to focus on the race tomorrow.

"It's the first race of the season so we just have to aim to go forward."

Check out our Qualifying gallery, here.

Mat Coch

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