If you are a Formula 1 driver, you know the summer holiday is over when you sit down in front of a dozen voice recorders and face questions from the press. Daniil Kvyat was called up for today’s FIA press conference in Spa, which came with the benefit of being held in an air conditioned room – a major bonus when you consider that temperatures reached a sizzling 34 degrees, hardly typical Belgian GP weather.
“I had a nice summer break, a pleasant few days having good times with good friends, including doing some karting,” said Daniil. “Of course, I also did some training and from that point of view we had a good couple of weeks and working with my trainer, we achieved some good performance levels. So I am in athletic shape and I am happy about that. I have done everything possible to be ready for the coming races. Now I feel ready for the second half of the championship and hopefully I can deliver some good performances. I think the way the first part of the season ended before the break, I was feeling the cumulative effect of several small disappointments including the crash in Hockenheim. But these things happen and now I will be trying to do my best once again. From that point of view, the summer break was very good for me.”
Drivers are always keen to start racing again, all the more so when the first circuit after the break is Spa-Francorchamps. “This is a legendary track and driving here is an incredible pleasure, but to be honest, any track where you are fast is an enjoyable one,” said our Russian driver. “So being fast at Spa is an extra pleasure. I have not set myself any specific goals for this weekend. I just plan to go out there and drive, putting my heart and soul into every corner, but at the moment, I don’t know what that’s going to bring me. We have to work well as a team in total and have the perfect triangle between myself, my race engineer and my performance engineer. We will do what we can to make it work.”
Starting Carlos Sainz’s media session was a question about the Halo device, as he is due to try it out in tomorrow mornings first free practice session. “I will run the halo for the installation lap and maybe if I like it, for a bit longer,” he revealed. “This circuit will be a good test of it, because through Eau Rouge you will see if visibility is compromised or not. After Germany we asked that we should all try it to give an opinion and I think it’s good that tomorrow three drivers are trying it. Eau Rouge? Even if I can’t see very well, I know where the corner goes!”
Carlos admitted that Spa could be a very tough track for Toro Rosso on the power front. “It is probably the most power sensitive track, as you spend a lot of time going flat out and plenty of time going uphill and cornering, putting load into the transmission, which is exactly where you need full power. Last year though we were surprisingly quick by compromising on aero, but this year it will be more difficult. I expect a tough weekend. But of course I am still looking forward to driving a Formula 1 car around Spa, trying to get the maximum potential out of it.”
It’s still August, there are nine more races to go, but Formula 1 is already thinking about 2017, when rule changes mean the cars will look very different to this year’s machines. “I give them my opinion and I tell them what I think”, admitted Carlos when asked if he had any input into the design of next year’s car. “But as for what needs to be done, that is up to James Key and I know he is more than capable of doing this job. Luckily, I think we have one of the best technical directors to solve all these issues. I have seen the concept of the car in the wind tunnel and it looks like a different car to what we are racing now.”