As you’d expect, Daniil Kvyat isn’t exactly sending Verstappen his hearty congratulations for his latest win at the Spanish GP. But the jilted former Red Bull racer is going so far as to say the win should rightfully have been his.
Kvyat was shelved quite publicly after a disastrous showing at the Russian Grand Prix, making way for the Dutch teenager long predicted to be a threat to his position. Now demoted back to Toro Rosso to regroup and to polish up his performance, the Russian insists that he would have been up there on the podium if it hadn’t been for the switchover.
When asked how he felt about watching Verstappen claim that victory instead of him, he assumed a veneer of indifference.
“I don’t care, to be honest. I’m now doing my own job with my own car. Of course it makes me think that I had the potential to do it, of course, no doubt. It just shows we have the potential to do it, simple as that.”
However, Kvyat hasn’t been having the best time of it at Toro Rosso either. He struggled with the lower levels of downforce in the STR11 and ended up in 13th place in the qualifying race. But apparently, he’s made significant improvements in the second half of the weekend and is adamant that things are finally on the upswing for him.
“I think plenty of positives, the second half of the race was very competitive. Plenty of positives to pick up… a good race. In the end we had a strong pace, we could have got a lot of good points probably without being lapped. The first half of the race was a bit difficult, we lost some time, but then once we got in clean air, it was all very competitive, so I’m very happy.”
It’s brutal making a new start anywhere, let alone after everyone knows how you’ve failed before. So our sympathies are definitely with Kvyat and we’re glad that at least he’s remaining optimistic about his chances, even if no one else is. After all, Felipe Massa did say that a bit of self-belief was just what the doctor ordered for a wounded reputation.