September 7, 2014
Monza produced its usual incident-packed afternoon, but despite fighting hard, Scuderia Toro Rosso came away from our home race, the Italian Grand Prix, without any points to add to our tally, although a single one at least had looked on the cards, until the very last moments of the race.
Daniil Kvyat started right at the back of the grid in 21st place, because of his engine penalty, with only Marcus Ericsson in the Caterham, starting from pit lane, behind him. The Russian rookie made up an amazing ten places to finish so near and yet so far to the points zone, in eleventh spot.
Daniil had a very combative afternoon, passing lots of cars, running sixteenth by lap 5, twelfth by lap 20 and as high as fourth on lap 27! He made his only pit stop on lap 30, one of the last drivers to fit new tyres as obviously he started on the Hard tyre, while most of the field had opted for the Medium. In the closing stages our Russian driver enjoyed a good scrap with Nico Hulkenberg, passing the Force India driver to go eleventh on lap 46. He even began to close slightly on tenth place Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari, but on the penultimate lap of the 53 lap race, he had a very scary moment, shooting straight across the first chicane at high speed and then the second one, getting on the team radio to complain about a brake problem. At least his car control was impressive as he still managed to avoid the barriers. Without that incident, Daniil would have got at least one point for tenth place, as Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren had to add a 5 second penalty to his final time, which should have promoted the Toro Rosso lad.
Jev dropped a place on the opening lap and then, as others pitted for fresh tyres, he moved up the order, to 11th on lap 20, seventh on 22 and finally sixth, before he came down pit lane on lap 24. He was one of the last to pit of those who began the race on the softer Medium tyre. The stop, executed very well by the crew, dropped him to fourteenth and unfortunately, after that the Frenchman never really had the pace to move up in the group of runners around him.
Kvyat recorded the fourth fastest race lap of the afternoon, behind Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa. In fact that was the top three finishing order, with the Mercedes drivers securing a dominant one-two and the Brazilian recording his first ever podium finish with the Williams team.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso crew can now tackle the shortest drive home of the season to our Faenza factory, which will gain us some precious hours more preparation time for the next round in the championship, the Singapore Grand Prix. The now famous night race takes place in a fortnight's time and signals the beginning of a very hectic final run of six races, all of them "flyaways" outside Europe, before the season comes to a close in November.