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Daniil Kvyat Q&A: I've shown I can handle it 22 Nov 2013

Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso, right, talks to an engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 22 November 2013 Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 22 November 2013 Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 22 November 2013 Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 22 November 2013 Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso, left, walks the track.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, 20 November 2013

When Toro Rosso recently confirmed 19-year-old Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement for 2014, there were a few raised eyebrows in the paddock. Could a youngster really leap straight from GP3 into Formula One racing and be successful? Kvyat’s FP3 outings in Austin and Sao Paulo suggest the answer will almost certainly be yes…

Q: Daniil, the Interlagos circuit was new to you and it is supposedly one of the more difficult tracks to memorize. How did you go about that task?
Daniil Kvyat:
By walking that track two times. True, it was a bit of walking, but it was worth every step. (laughs) It was all about preparing your mind for a new task - one that’s hopefully not aborted again by conditions.

Q: From what you’ve shown today in Free Practice One, you must have memorized every inch of that track and made the maximum out of it…
DK:
Yes, it was going very well and indeed I was able to put in a very good lap, even if I was not able to do as much running as planned because we needed to save the tyres for Daniel. But the time I was able to spend in the car was just fantastic.

Q: Were you surprised by how ‘easily’ you were able to keep up with the top dogs of Formula One racing?
DK:
You never know what the others are doing, so you can only concentrate on your own feeling - and yes, my fastest lap felt really good. I enjoyed every second of it. P8 was a fantastic reward, whatever that means in real performance when the others go full throttle.

Q: What was the biggest learning curve in Austin and now in Brazil?
DK:
To make me feel more comfortable in the car. This is the real thing - not a young drivers test day or any isolated test. Here you have Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the other cars, so you better know what you’re doing. To compete with them everything has to come naturally - the feeling for the track, for the car, for the tyres, the buttons on the steering wheel, and for the parts of the track that tease out everything from you.

Q: How important was it for you to stay ahead of our future team mate Jean-Eric?
DK:
Today was not a competition. The intention was to get me in the race weekend mode with its specific procedures and to get me as much mileage as possible. That it was going so well lap-time wise was a nice extra, but was never the intention of today’s running.

Q: Are you feeling ready to make that huge step into Formula One racing - missing out some of the series other young drivers did to get there? Isn’t that also a risk from your side?
DK:
I think if Red Bull thinks that I am ready, who am I to question their decision? I feel very comfortable in the car and I think I have shown in the two outings that I can handle it. I am willing to learn and I have a team around me that has proven that they can get the best out of a young driver. I am young yes, but where is it written that this is a downside? There are some examples in the paddock that prove differently.

Q: Today was your last outing in an F1 car in race weekend conditions before you go testing for the new season in January. What is on your agenda for the next couple of weeks? It is no secret that Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is a demanding taskmaster…
DK:
First and foremost, simulator work. Then to improve my physical shape, even though I didn’t have any issues with that either in Austin or here - a bit of endurance, as a race weekend is a demanding matter, and probably put on some more muscles. That wouldn’t be too bad. (laughs)

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