Kvyat: We are not real men? That’s all bullsh*t

Daniil Kvyat not amused by criticism of modern era F1 drivers

Daniil Kvyat not amused by criticism of modern era F1 drivers

Daniil Kvyat, the youngest rookie in current Formula 1, has hit back at suggestions drivers lack the hero status of the sport’s past stars and tells critics of the new V6 turbo engine formula to be paitent.

Amid the sport’s struggle to fill grandstands and boost television ratings in 2014, many have pointed the finger at the drivers for failing to compete in the charisma and courage stakes with greats like Villeneuve, Senna and Mansell.

Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber, for example, this week hit out at the “wimps” that today fill the Grand Prix grid.

Russian rookie Kvyat, who has impressed this season, thinks it is wrong to suggest that today’s Formula 1 drivers lack courage.

“In my opinion Formula 1 remains one of the sports in which courage is most relevant,” the 20 year old told Omnicorse.

“I don’t like to hear that the modern driver is no longer a knight of risk — that compared with the 80s we are not real men,” the Toro Rosso driver insisted.

Daniil Kvyat jumps out of his Toro Rosso after it caught fire during the German Grand Prix

Daniil Kvyat jumps out of his Toro Rosso after it caught fire during the German Grand Prix

“That’s all bullsh*t,” said Kvyat. “All that separates us from 340kph and the wall is our brakes and a hundred metres of asphalt. Risk in Formula 1 cannot be erased, but it is right that we do everything possible to improve the safety of the tracks and the cars.”

Another criticism made by Weber this week, and echoed by many others, is that greats like Schumacher, Senna and Villeneuve gave “their answer on the track” rather than to their engineers on the radio.

But Kvyat argues: “With the new regulations, the role of the engineer is essential — the management of electrical energy cannot be controlled only by the driver.”

“Let’s clarify another thing,” he added. “If there is the possibility to overtake, the driver must always try it. There is never the situation when the engineer tells you to forget it, to wait. But at the same time we need to adapt to the situation of fuel consumption and the wear of the tyres.”

As for the suggestion that the grands prix today are boring, Kvyat also argues his case.

Daniil Kvyat in the cockpit of his Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat in the cockpit of his Toro Rosso

“I don’t know what people are expecting,” he said. “I have looked at the grands prix and I have to say that the show is not bad at all.

“Sure, some races are more exciting than others, but if we go back to the races in the 2000s they were dominated by one driver – what was so spectacular about that?”

“Maybe the public has not understood the rule changes we have done, but I am sure we have taken the right path,” Kvyat continued. “It took courage to change to experimental solutions in order to progress normal road cars.”

Finally, when asked what rule change he would instigate immediately to improve Formula 1, Kvyat answered: “I would wait a little longer. It seems to me that the package we have now is not so bad.” (GMM)