Daniil Kvyat was delighted to finish practice just two tenths behind Daniel Ricciardo
Youngster impresses with quick display in first competitive F1 session
By William Esler
Last Updated: 18/11/13 4:37pm
The newly crowned GP3 Champion only earned his super licence seven days ago and his Friday outing at the Circuit of the Americas was the first time he had driven the STR8 since completing 16 laps at July's Young Driver Test.
The 19-year-old will be promoted to a race seat in 2014 with Toro Rosso, replacing the Red Bull-bound Ricciardo, and the Russian was pleased with what he says were comparable times.
"We were running very similar programmes, it was quite a short session, but it is still quite relevant to look at the timesheets and to finish the session just 0.2 off Daniel, who is quite an experienced driver and is really talented, feels really good and really positive," the 21-year-old told Sky Sports F1.
"I saw some positive things on the data as well."
However, whilst Kvyat may be satisfied with his debut, he believes there is more to come as he wasn't pushing on the lap which recorded his quickest time.
"To be honest that time came in my first run, so I wasn't on the limit because I was still learning the limits of the car and learning the track as well because it is a completely new track for me," he added.
If the promise of more pace sounds a little arrogant, think again, as the Russian is honest enough to admit he needs to improve on all areas of his performance to be ready for F1, particularly his fitness.
"I think there is still a little bit of everything, ever driver can improve - even Sebastian Vettel," he confessed.
"I just have to take it step-by-step. My fitness levels are okay, my level today felt really good, but I wouldn't like to keep going for the rest of the weekend, it is just step-by step."
With Jean-Eric Vergne returning to the car for the remainder of the weekend, Kvyat is hoping to use the rest of the event to acclimatise to the F1 environment.
"I will try to attend some briefings - both drivers' and the FIA briefings - as it would be really useful for me to see how the weekend works."
Kvyat is also scheduled to run in Practice One next week at the Brazilian GP when he will stand in for Ricciardo.