Daniil Kvyat says AlphaTauri is “slightly behind” its rival Formula 1 teams in a “very tight” midfield pecking order this year, but believes the team is heading in the right direction.
The squad currently sits seventh in the Constructors Championship, with its points total boosted by a recent victory for Pierre Gasly at Monza, and is only 13 points down on fellow Italian team Ferrari.
AlphaTauri has scored points at eight of the nine races so far this year between Kvyat and Gasly, only coming up short at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Kvyat struggled to 12th and Gasly retired due to a faulty gearbox.
However, despite its respectable form, Kvyat acknowledges that AlphaTauri is still not up to speed with other midfield teams.
“I would say our car has been looking more competitive in these last few races, with continuous progress being made,” said Kvyat, who scored a personal best finish of 2020 with seventh at Mugello.
“In general, it’s a very tight midfield and, as we have seen in normal circumstances, without any unusual events in the race, we are slightly behind McLaren, Racing Point and Renault.
“However, we are talking about very tiny margins. We are looking to completely eliminate that gap in the near future and I believe we are on the right path to doing so.”
Kvyat’s home Russian Grand Prix is the next round of the 2020 season, with Sochi making its seventh appearance on the Formula 1 schedule.
Fans are set to be admitted into the circuit, as limited numbers are beginning to return to the grandstands this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kvyat, who has one points finish at the Sochi Autodrom (placing fifth in 2015), says he is looking forward to receiving home support.
“I’m quite excited about the weekend, as there is always a special feeling for me when I’m in Sochi,” he said.
“We already had some fans allowed in Mugello and I believe there will be even more in Sochi, which will be very cool.
“Of course, it will be important to keep everyone safe, but like every race, there are checks and measures in place to ensure that.”