YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS
He’s shot up the ranks from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in the space of a year, which hasn’t left much time for ice hockey… or bear hunting
Daniil Kvyat answers your questions as he prepares to step up to the top team after just one year with Toro Rosso
Spend even a little time in the company of Daniil Kvyat and you come to realise that practically nothing fazes this tall, condent young Russian. An impressive debut year at Toro Rosso has led to his immediate promotion to Red Bull for 2015. Yet discussing the appointment, he acts as if it’s the most natural thing in the world and that he should be winning races. It’s easy to forget he’s just 20 years old.
Fluent in four languages and with a studious interest in the history of his sport, Daniil doesn’t seem the least bit stressed about taking on Daniel Ricciardo in 2015. The chance to shine is there for him to grab with both hands – as he does with the stack of readers’ question cards in front of him on the table in a quiet corner of the Abu Dhabi paddock. And the rst one is about that recent promotion. You scored 14 fewer points than your team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in 2014, so why did Red Bull choose you over him? Brendan Stead, Australia Well, I think that’s an easy question to answer. The points are irrelevant for me, unless I’m ghting for a championship. I don’t care at all about the points. I’m lucky enough to have people around me at Red Bull who look at all the details very deeply and take everything into consideration and analyse the situation – that’s why they have chosen me instead. What do you like with your Red Bull? Or do you drink it straight? Laurence Zumpo, Australia Ah Laurence, you guys know how to mix it up in Australia, don’t you? Well, obviously in a party sometimes you might mix it with beer… F1R: With beer? DK: No, no. I’m joking. Most of the time I drink it straight. And sometimes you might mix it with… I know that you want me to say that I mix it with vodka. So I’ll say vodka. What do you miss most about Russia when you are away? Duncan Hodgson, United Kingdom [At this point, F1 Racing’s photographer Glenn Dunbar interjects with: ‘say the women’] Okay – the women! No, if I’m honest on the race weekends it’s kinda hard for me to think about this. But every time I go to Russia I have this feeling of home and in my soul I can feel it’s where I am from. It is the country where I grew up and my parents and grandparents are still there and I don’t see them often. So it’s a soulful feeling – but the rst thing I said is also true! Is it true you’re a fan of bear hunting? Rob McAlees, United Kingdom Bear hunting? I’m sorry, I’m not a big fan of the bear hunting. That’s something new to me… What are your opinions on the FIA’s plan to make Formula 1 safer following Jules Bianchi’s accident? Indradjid Sofwan, Indonesia There is always room for improvement and like I said after the accident, you have to make decisions that haven’t been rushed through and which do make sense and are not exaggerated. We must not forget that it’s been a very unlucky set of circumstances and that’s why we shouldn’t rush into any decision. We need sensible modifications – ne-tuning if you like. This is
my point of view and I do think that the FIA will take everything into consideration and make the right decision based on that. Who was the rst person you told when you were offered the Red Bull seat? Garry Robinson, United Kingdom I didn’t get to speak to anyone because I was told 30 minutes before FP3 in Japan and usually I don’t have my phone on me at that time of the weekend. I mentioned it to my trainer and my engineer, the people who I have a close relationship with. F1R: Did you manage to at least speak to your family that night? DK: I sent a few texts. I’m normally busy on a Saturday night, and with the time difference it was difficult. I made a quick call to my dad, but that was about it. You speak many languages but which do you prefer to talk in? And swear in? Stuart Burton, United Kingdom I speak English, Russian, Italian, Spanish and some Finnish, but I haven’t analysed which language I swear in. I think for me English is the language I speak in the most because of the sport I’m involved with. F1R: And which language do you swear in? DK: Russian has the best swear words. F1R: Can you say one for us? DK: No. Is motorsport developing in Russia and is there some sort of talent programme available that supports young drivers? Arjen Falter, Holland Yes, motorsport is definitely growing in Russia. It’s been growing over the past four or five years, ever since Vitaly Petrov came to Formula 1 [in 2010] – that was what caused the big jump in interest. More so now that we have the Russian Grand Prix. Also I think it helps that many Russians go and race in international series, so it’s looking good for the development of the sport in Russia. And I think there are some programmes that try to help young drivers and it’s very good to see that. Congratulations on landing the Red Bull seat. What’s your target for this year? Beating Ricciardo or scoring points? Elton Lam, United Kingdom Thanks. I’m not setting myself any big targets or any big goals. Obviously you have to aim high always, but I’m not xing anything into my head. That will not help me, the thing that will help me will be to work as hard as possible at weekends to try and achieve the best result. And also to try to extract the natural speed that I think I have, because that’s why I’m here and that should be enough for a good result. How good am I? Only time will tell. F1R: Do you get on well with Daniel? DK: Yeah, we know each other quite well. Since I was 15 years old, since I joined the Red Bull programme, we’ve been in touch and exchanged a few jokes. I think we should be able to build a good team atmosphere around us, which is important. I understand this and I think he understands it as well, because when you have strong rivals it’s important to be united at some point. You always want to be the one in front and we’ll see who will be that one… What do you make of Milton Keynes? Mathew Grove, United Kingdom I’ve been living there and spending most of my time there the last few years. In the beginning it was quite tough to adapt to a new place, but that is always the case. It’s a special place. It’s not real England, I would say. It’s a little more commercial, with a lot of buildings. But it’s nice. I’ve found everything I need there and I basically managed to have some good times there… Fancy coming to a Cardiff Devils EIHL ice hockey game when the F1 season is over? My treat. Gerald Davies, United Kingdom Well, let me see. My trainer Pyry Salmela is a huge ice hockey fan and we’ve been talking about the sport together quite a lot. I imagine he’ll want to go more than me. But I wouldn’t mind, thanks. I follow the national hockey team and I watch it sometimes, but not so much. Who is your hero in motorsport and why? Marta Konarska, Poland Ever since I started my career it’s been Michael Schumacher, and it still is in a way. It’s hard to see what he’s going through now. It’s a big shame as he’s someone I’ve followed closely; I really liked his style of racing. Are F1 cars too easy to drive? Alan Harrison, United Kingdom Well, you can have a go yourself to see if you nd it too easy or not. It depends if you’re driving at 60mph – then they might be too easy. But in Formula 1 you are pushing very close to the limit all the time – you are even over the limit sometimes. And when you are doing this, it is very, very hard. Many people know how to play tennis, or how to play football. Many people know how to drive a road car. But not many people know how to take an F1 car to the absolute limit. So my answer would be no.
“Daniel and I know each other quite well. I think we should be able to build a good team atmosphere around us, which is important”
Have you ever driven any Russian cars? Klaudia Kowalczyk, Poland Well in every Russian family, although I’m not sure about modern families, there was always a Lada in the family. I think it was one of the rst cars that I drove. F1R: A good handling car? DK: Not really. There is some room for improvement. F1R: Power? DK: No. Big room for improvement. Are you friends with President Putin? Andrew Gair, United Kingdom I didn’t have the chance to meet him personally, but I think that as the president of his own country he has to be popular and he is. Where does your middle name – Vyacheslavovich – come from? Brian Broad, Australia It comes from my father. In Russia, your middle name comes from the name of your father. My father’s name is Vyacheslav. His middle name is Yakobovich because his father’s name is Yakob. This is how it goes. If I had a son his middle name would be Daniilovich. Are you ready to win races next year? Dave Hall, USA Yes, as I driver I am always pushing as hard as possible to win. This is why I am here and I’m willing to do everything to achieve that. So absolutely, yes. Which driver in the history of Formula 1 would you most like to have been able to race against? Shaun Matthews, United Kingdom Well there are drivers like Michael Schumacher and he was a good example to me when I was young. He retired in 2012, so I just missed racing him by a couple of years. I think there are maybe drivers that would have been cool to have raced against. Like Senna, Schumacher, Prost, Mansell – maybe someone from earlier like Jackie Stewart. I know a little bit of the history of the sport. F1R: A lot of young drivers don’t. DK: Well, I think it’s an important part. I didn’t study history at school, I didn’t really like it because I found it boring but some clever people say it gets repeated sometimes and I think it’s important to understand the history of what you are doing. F1R: Do you read books about motor racing in the past? DK: There are a few ways. I’ve watched videos, there’s the lm 1 and the lm Senna – both are very interesting. I’ve been reading a few books, too. YouTube videos. I’ve always liked the history and I used to have a collection of F1 Racing magazine in Russian from 2004 to 2006. I’ve been reading those since the early days to learn about the sport and its history.