Daniil Kvyat believes that he could have won Sunday’s United States Grand Prix had the track not dried out.
Kvyat qualified fourth at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday morning, and challenged three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton for the lead of the race in the early stages.
However, as the track dried out, Kvyat’s Red Bull struggled to keep up its initial pace, causing the Russian driver to drop back through the field.
With 15 laps to go, Kvyat’s race came to an early end after he ran wide at the penultimate corner and crashed into the barrier.
Speaking after the race, Kvyat said that he enjoyed the early stages and felt his pace could have put him in good shape to win in Austin had conditions remained the same.
“The opening laps were mega, it was very enjoyable and it was nice fighting, but then the track dried out,” Kvyat said.
“If it was a wet race I felt it could have been a victory today. It’s easy to say that, but there’s no point really, because once it dried out we were an easy target for everyone, which was a bit frustrating.
“We weren’t able to be as competitive in the dry as in the wet so we’ll have to have a look at that. In the dry, I was driving a bit over my limit when I crashed, I put the wheels on the artificial grass, tried to carry a bit more speed but it didn’t work out and I’m disappointed with myself.”
Kvyat remains seventh in the drivers’ championship with three races remaining, currently leading teammate Daniel Ricciardo by two points.
“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.
“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”
The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).
“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.
“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”
“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”
Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:
Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).