Kvyat: Without risk life isn’t interesting, I’m as ready as possible for a rookie to be

Daniil Kvyat will drive in FP1 during the United States GP weekend in Austin

Daniil Kvyat will drive in FP1 during the United States GP weekend in Austin

The newest member of the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver line-up had his first encounter with the Formula 1 media in Austin, Texas ahead of the penultimate round of the World Championship.

Daniil Kvyat will replace Jean-Eric Vergne in the FP1 session, as part of his preparation to be the Frenchman’s team-mate next year. He soon realised that the F1 press can be a tough bunch with difficult questions: imagine asking a Russian teenager if he felt coming to F1 at such a young age was like playing Russian Roulette!

That was indeed one of the first questions he was interrogated with. It didn’t seem to bother the 19 year old.

Daniil Kvyat with media in Austin

Daniil Kvyat with media in Austin

“I think there are not too many chances for anyone to come to Formula 1, so I am not thinking about it like that,” he said. “Without risk life isn’t interesting. You just have to deliver the results, that’s all you have to do. I don’t view my age as a negative thing. I didn’t think twice about it when I got the offer!”

On the subject of getting the call, Kvyat recalls every detail: “It was a surprise, but not a huge one, because I would say after my race in Spa, I began to believe there was a chance. There were meetings and I was told by I had to keep on winning races and after that, every weekend I was on the podium.”

“The promise was kept and the call came! It was a nice feeling for sure. The two sessions I will get here in Austin and next week in Sao Paolo will be very important, a) to learn two new tracks, b) to get more time in a Formula 1 car and c) to get to know the team as well as possible. It’s all positive and useful for me and for the team.”

Daniil Kvyat impressed Toro Rosso and Red Bull during the Young Drivers Test at Silverstone in July

Daniil Kvyat impressed Toro Rosso and Red Bull during the Young Drivers Test at Silverstone in July

There have been suggestions that at 19, Daniil is a bit young for the premiere level of motor sport, but the youngster disagrees.

“I feel quite ready at the end of what was an intense year for me. I got to try a Formula 1 car for the first time and now I will be a Formula 1 driver all in that short space of time. But winning the GP3 title has boosted my confidence.”

“It was important for me to do that, as it happened after the announcement I would race in F1 next year. From now on, the team has a programme for me to ensure [that] I am as ready as possible for a rookie to be, in time for the start of next season.”

2014 Toro Rosso teammates Daniil Kvyat and Jean Eric Vergne walk the Circuit of the Americas together

2014 Toro Rosso teammates Daniil Kvyat and Jean Eric Vergne walk the Circuit of the Americas together

As for expectations, Daniil explained that he has not been set any specific targets for 2014, apart from getting confident in the car as soon as possible.

“I’ve had a busy time here already, talking to engineers and walking the track and watching lots of on-board videos of the Austin track. I just need to get in the car and gain confidence in it.”

So how did this rapid rise through the ranks begin?

“My parents didn’t know what karting was, but I tried it once and here I am,” Daniil said with pride. “It makes it feel even better that my parents knew nothing about motor racing. It all started by chance, I was having lunch in Moscow and there was a karting track next to the restaurant, so I had a go.”

After that, as the saying goes, the rest is history… (Toro Rosso)

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