The return of the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend was masterminded by billionaire owner of the Red Bull brand, Dietrich Mateschitz. As the owner of the defending world champion team and its sister squad, Toro Rosso, it was intended to be their big weekend to impress.
Instead, not only did the main Red Bull team flounder and score just four points, but Toro Rosso’s weekend also went badly as both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat retired from the race.
It had all started so well for Kvyat. On Saturday, he qualified in seventh place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, only to drop back off the line down to tenth place. He then became embroiled in a battle with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo for position, and pulled off a remarkable overtake on the Australian.
Ultimately, it wasn’t to be though. Kvyat suffered a failure on his right rear wheel that sent him off into the gravel, and he was forced to retire from the race.
“I’m obviously disappointed with how today turned out, especially because everything was working so well this weekend and it seemed like a promising race,” the Russian explained. “Our pace was strong, our updates and also tire management worked well.
“The start was difficult, I lost a few positions but I managed to get a position back. From then on I was able to push hard and it looked like we could have a strong result. Around lap 26 I saw my rear right tyre blow up and I was forced to stop.”
Teammate Jean-Eric Vergne ran outside of the points for the majority of the grand prix, and eventually retired from the race due to a problem with his brakes.
“I have struggled with the brakes from the beginning of the race,” he said. “It’s difficult to drive the car with such a considerable rear locking. It’s not good for tire life and for the balance in general so it was really a tricky race. I was doing my best to finish it at least but in the end I just could not bring the car to the checkered flag.
“Problems happen, it’s a shame that they occurred here but the new aero package is working well and we have a good car to face the next grand prix in Silverstone.”