Kvyat hopes for some home comforts
Daniil Kvyat will be the home crowd favourite at the Russian Grand Prix this weekend.
The 22-year-old Red Bull Racing driver comes into his home race after a brilliant podium finish last time out in China - this third career podium finish in F1.
The Sochi circuit has had mixed results for the Russian though. After qualifying a brilliant fifth in his debut season at Toro Rosso in 2014, Kvyat fell down the order to finish 14th.
Last year, Kvyat had been promoted to the senior Red Bull squad but could only manage a seventh place finish.
Given the extra media attention on him, Kvyat is expecting a busy weekend.
“I’m very excited to get back to Russia for the Grand Prix,” he said It’s an important race for me and it’s nice to see my family and friends and all the fans who come to support me and the team in Sochi. I can’t wait!
“It will be a hectic week and thinking about Daniel’s busy week in Australia it’s a bit of a payback for me in a way but you already got into quite a good rhythm after the first few races so you’re used to it in a way. In the end it’s my home race and that gives me an extra boost as well. It’s very nice to have a home race. It’s very special for every driver so I think I’m very lucky to have one.”
And he admits that having a grandstand with his face on is a great feeling.
He said: “I think Turn 4 is the nicest corner, and it’s also the grandstand named after me. I see my face on that corner often during the race, and that support is really nice. Any time I want to say something cool I say: I have a grandstand named after me!”
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who sits third in the driver’s standings this year after three consecutive fourth places this year, will be looking for better luck at Sochi this time around.
In his two appearances in Russia, the Australian has finished seventh and 15th but hopes for an improved finish in 2016.
He said: “I think the track hasn’t suited us in the last two years, but we’ve had some strong races so far this year on circuits we didn’t think suited us either so let’s see what happens.
“In the past it’s been quite a low grip. It got a bit better last year but it’s still quite slippery and because there is not that much tyre wear we haven’t done many pit stops in the past.”
First free practice for the Russian Grand Prix gets underway at 8am (UK time) on Friday.