Apr 29, 2016

    Kvyat confident he can play local hero in 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 third Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.

    The Russian Red Bull racer believes his team have found the form to mount a challenge to both Mercedes and Ferrari after a disappointing 2015 season and he 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.

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

    He demonstrated bullish determination and confidence on the opening lap, pace and skill to secure that podium finish, a result that has set the standard for his team.

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

    At least, Hamilton has winning form in Sochi to inspire him, having won 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.