Kvyat hoping to harness home support in Sochi

Rosberg eyes season’s fourth consecutive win at Russian Grand Prix


Afp April 29, 2016
Kvyat was impressive at the Chinese Grand Prix last time out, finishing on the podium to prove that it won’t be just a two-way race between Ferrari and Mercedes drivers. PHOTO: REUTERS

SOCHI: Daniil Kvyat hopes he can find the speed to thrill local fans and threaten an end to Nico Rosberg’s winning start to the season in this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.

The Russian Red Bull racer believes his team has found the form to mount a challenge to both Mercedes and Ferrari after a disappointing 2015 season and wants to prove that potential at the Black Sea resort circuit.

“I don’t want to predict it, but it looks like our chassis is quite strong and good,” he said.  “And who knows? I mean everything is possible.”

Hamilton in hunt for Russia hat-trick

However, the young Russian is not setting himself any goals. “We don’t know where it’s going to bring us, but there are some good opportunities coming,” he said.

Kvyat finished third in the Chinese Grand Prix on April 17 behind victorious Rosberg of Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

After three straight season-opening wins and six in succession overall, Rosberg has a clear 36-point lead in the drivers’ title race ahead of Mercedes teammate and three-time defending champion Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg completes hat-trick at Chinese Grand Prix

With confidence high and his driving immaculate, Rosberg has demonstrated speed and precision while the luckless Hamilton has suffered three successive races where opening lap collisions have damaged his prospects.

The Englishman, however, has been fast enough to carry a serious threat and still believes he has the belief and motivation to secure more success.

“We all are greedy, we always want more,” said Hamilton. “You know that you have just won the championship, you still feel healthy, you still feel fit. Plus you know that next year is going to be the same year, it is just going to be good. So you don’t want to stop and give it to the other guy. You want to stay and do it again.”

Hamilton not only has to end his run of losses to Rosberg to kickstart his title chase, he has to resist the challenge of a hungry Ferrari team that, in Sochi, will be introducing a new front wing and an upgraded engine.

You can’t win them all, Hamilton tells Rosberg

“I am running out of time,” admitted Hamilton as he departed Shanghai. “I need to start putting a few results together.”

At least he has winning form in Sochi to inspire him, having won both the two previous races in 2014 and 2015 for Mercedes with drives that suggested the smooth circuit suits him well.

Another pole position and a first lap without incident will be key to him ending his run of frustrations and making sure he has a realistic chance of defending his championship crown. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2016.

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