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, condent 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.

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