Daniil Kvyat has become the first driver this year to be served with a ten-place grid penalty under the 2014 technical regulations, meaning he will start from 21st place for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
The Russian’s Scuderia Toro Rosso mechanics were forced to fit a replacement ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) element to his STR9 – the sixth of his season – therefore incurring the penalty.
Per the new rules, the first time a sixth element within the ‘power unit’ is used, a ten-place grid penalty is applied, followed by a five-place grid penalty for the sixth use of any other element. The process continues for the seventh use and so on, while a replacement of the entire power unit will result in a pit lane start.
The teenager was the third-fastest of the grid’s eight Renault-powered runners, and qualified an impressive eleventh-fastest despite the clear horsepower disadvantage they are suffering.
“It’s a shame that I won’t be starting from P11, but from P21. On the positive side, we are not carrying this grid penalty over to Singapore, so I’m pleased about that,” he said after qualifying.
“It’s hard to say what we can do tomorrow, because starting from the back is never easy. We will look at what we can do with the strategy and I will give it my all to fight through the field to arrive as high up as possible.”
Teammate Jean-Éric Vergne qualified thirteenth-fastest, but moves up one spot courtesy of his his teammate’s misfortunes. The Frenchman was very unhappy with the car’s handling in low-downforce trim.
“I made a good lap in Q1 and again in Q2, but it was not enough to get into Q3. I know I have done the best I could and I just could not drive any quicker. So far this weekend I have been struggling a lot with the car. I think this has been the most difficult weekend since the beginning of the season in terms of car handling. Anyhow, we are still looking forward to tomorrow. I will give it my hundred percent and aim to finish the race as high as possible,” he said.
Toro Rosso technical James Key was still confident that Vergne could finish in the points at the team’s home race.
“We made some good steps forward this morning from yesterday’s balance problems and I think perhaps we could have had one car go through to Q3, but in reality P11 and P13 was close to where we were this weekend,” he added.
“Our top speed is good, but unfortunately Daniil has a grid penalty due to his ICE change, so we will look at the strategy and see what we can do. JEV moves forward one place of course and scoring points should be in his hands. We will do our best tomorrow to fight for some points.”
Images via XPB Images