Formula 1 people don’t get to spend much time at home, with a busy racing and testing schedule taking them to all four corners of the earth. However, if you’re not even based in your home country, you get even less chance to speak your mother tongue.Hardly surprising therefore that Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat was more than happy to stay on in Russia after his country’s first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix. Along with our team principal, Franz Tost, Daniil headed for the Republic of Tatarstan, around 800 kilometres to the east of Moscow.
This part of the East European Plain is pretty remote, which might explain why it’s the home of the winners of the Truck category of last year’s Dakar Rally, Team Kamaz Master. Some of the team members were our guests at Sochi and so they repaid the favour, with Daniil getting to try out one of these massively powerful trucks, after getting some expert advice from one of its drivers, Eduard Nikolaev.
Motor racing is growing in popularity in this part of the world and Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, boasts its own karting school, even if it’s not every day that a real live Russian Formula 1 driver turns up to give the pupils a demonstration of his skills. That’s exactly what Daniil did, much to the delight of the many kids who turned out to meet him, have the obligatory “selfie” taken and grab an autograph. Apart from that, Daniil also found time to tackle the “Kazan Ring” outdoor track at the wheel of a local racing car.
Next stop for Daniil – a couple of thousand kilometres to the west and an Austin-Sao Paolo simulator session in Milton Keynes.