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The Essential… Daniil Kvyat

07 Oct 2015

Daniil Kvyat's F1 career might only span 32 races, but he can already lay claim to having been the youngest ever points scorer and the first Russian to claim a top-two finish. But what does he deem essential to succeed on and off the circuit? From keeping vodka in the fridge to keeping a chess board close to hand at the track, the Russian shares his secrets...

What are the essential elements of your pre-race routine?

Daniil Kvyat: A good sleep before the race, a good warm-up - and a good chat with my engineers to make sure we are on top of everything and every scenario. And then a good race itself!

What are the essential ingredients of a good night out?

DK: To be honest, if you have really good friends with whom you feel confident and with whom you can talk about many different things, you will always find something good to do - in any part of the world.

What essential items must you have in your driver's room at a race?

DK: Music, my chess board, and a pillow so I can sleep a bit - that's it!

What essential items must you have in your fridge at home?

DK: Most of the stuff for breakfast: eggs, milk, a few vegetables to make an omelette, yoghurts, fruits and ice cream. Then if I am planning on cooking some lunch or dinner I will go and buy on the day some chicken fillets or salmon fillets. I always have some rice at home as well or some pasta. Oh and vodka!

What are the essential qualities for a girlfriend/wife/partner?

DK: It's hard to say. It doesn't have to be Miss Universe - sometimes you fall in love with the people you least expect to fall in love with, and then you can try it out and if it doesn't work it doesn't work. I still haven't found the one that I would be comfortable to spend all of my free time with, and to be honest I am completely fine with that. I don't think there is anything bad at all to be on your own sometimes, but I'm always open!

What are essential qualities of a good F1 team mate?

DK: Competitive enough... I would say the one with which you have respectful competition, who pushes you to be a better driver.  Someone who will give you close and tight races, who you can battle with and improve yourself, but who you will beat in the end - hopefully!

Your essential tip for avoiding stress at airports?

DK: Well you know after so much time at airports, it becomes quite automatic to avoid stress. I would suggest decent music, a good book, find a less crowded place to have a cup of tea or a light meal, but really it is all just a state of mind so avoid it and you won't be stressed. No big secret.

What are the essential qualities of an F1 driver?

DK: I don't know to be honest, as long as you win that is all that matters.

What is essential to help you wind down after a race?

DK: I think we work so hard - our mechanics, our engineers etc - so sometimes to go out on Sunday night and have a couple of drinks is nice. I prefer a relaxed atmosphere where we can talk, not just about work but about other things! I really enjoy spending time with my team because they are such nice people.

What are the essential elements of a great racing circuit?

DK: Fast corners that make your heart beat faster. And long straights for good overtaking opportunities. Basically Spa, Monza, Silverstone or the Red Bull Ring - these kinds of tracks.

What app is essential to have on your phone?

DK: To be honest, I could live without any apps. As long as the phone works to call and text. Maybe WhatsApp because it is the most commonly used app to message with. I have Facebook which I mainly use to message with, but I don't have a single game on my phone.

What are the essential qualities of a team boss?

DK: Strong enough, but at the same time understands you and any problems you may have; someone who can say it as it is. Not too grumpy and not too happy, a good balance. Basically the qualities that our team boss has, so I think that we are fortunate to have Christian (Horner) with us!

What are the essential requirements at a hotel?

DK: A good big bed, lots of pillows, strong wifi to watch some films, well stocked mini-bar, a bath tub and also a strong shower, the windows to be facing the quiet part and not the street side so that you can sleep well, not too noisy in the corridors, good breakfast and good room service. I think I just described my perfect hotel!

What is the essential Grand Prix every fan should attend at least once in their lifetime?

DK: I think it depends on who you are and what you like from a race. If you are solely a racing fan then you should attend a classic track like Monza or Spa. If you are a fan that also likes post-race entertainment, then I would recommend Monaco or Hungary. If you like a sauna, then Singapore or Malaysia! (laughs)

What are your essentials for a good night's sleep?

DK: To have a really good training day, in the morning and in the afternoon. One that really takes it out of you, a good cycle followed by strong gym session. Have a really nice dinner with a good glass of wine, some fresh air and that is the perfect recipe! Oh and to be alone!

What are the essential items you must have with you while travelling?

DK: I definitely need ear phones so I can listen to music or watch some films. I always bring a good book or magazine, chewing gum to ensure I am always fresh, bottle of water, comfortable shoes and that's it really.

What is essential to help you wake up in the morning?

DK: A strong cup of coffee does the trick!

What is the essential F1 corner?

DK: I would say Copse at Silverstone.

What are the essential parts of your training regime?

DK: The right food eaten at the right times, the right amount of sleep - good quality sleep - and of course I need my trainer Pyry with me at all times with the programmes that he sets for me. He is very important to me.

What is the personal quality most essential for success in F1?

DK: Your inside strength I think. Your ability, your talent, your natural skill... but these are all strengths you feel inside. Everyone might have the skills, but it's the ability to use them in the right moment that makes the difference.

What is your essential tip for the aspiring F1 driver?

DK: Once you go on the track, don't think about Formula One!