Daniil Kvyat has got a 100% points scoring record in his Formula 1 career! Okay, let’s be realistic, he’s only driven in two Grands Prix and scored an extra point here in Malaysia for tenth place to add to his ninth or tenth place in Melbourne, depending on the outcome of Red Bull’s appeal re: the Australian race result. Nevertheless, it’s proof of continued progress on the reliability front, which is turning out to be a key factor in the early stages of this season of change.
Having dropped a place in the early stages, the Russian dispensed with Gutierrez on lap 5 to go back to his original starting place of eleventh and was tenth, when he came in for tyres on lap 10, the first of his three stops, the most popular strategy today. Briefly ninth, he couldn’t hold off Bottas in the Williams and once the Finn had passed, Daniil made stop number 2 on lap 22, fitting Hards and dropping to 15th. On lap 26 he passed Kobayashi’s Caterham down the main straight to go tenth but as the pit stops panned out he was down in twelfth spot on lap 33, before making his final stop one lap later. Retirements and the run of final stops saw him move back up to tenth by lap 41, the position he kept to the flag.
Jean-Eric Vergne’s afternoon was much less successful, his race pretty much run in the opening laps. From ninth on the grid, he was virtually at the back of the field, when a power unit management problem robbed him of power. After that, in his efforts to fight back, he collided with Bianchi in the Marussia and had to come in on lap 2 for a new front wing. That saw the Frenchman drop to nineteenth place and from then on, the car never really feeling in top shape, there was nothing he could do. A further problem with the power unit then forced him to retire after 18 laps.
Austrian skiing legend Franz Klammer spent much of the weekend with the Toro Rosso crew and let’s hope that right from next Friday in Bahrain, for Round 3, we can move back up the order as quickly as Klammer used to ski down the hills!