(© Ben Johnston 2015)
The Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One Team head into the season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne’s Albert Park with a new driver with Daniil Kvyat joining the Milton Keynes based outfit. The Russian replaces Sebastian Vettel who joined Scuderia Ferrari over the winter.
Kvyat joins Daniel Ricciardo who enters into his second season with the four time Constructors champions. The Australian had an incredibly successful season in 2014 which saw him claim three victories including his maiden Grand Prix victory at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Ricciardo went on to finish the season in third place in championship behind the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s world champion Lewis Hamilton and his team mate Nico Rosberg. Ricciardo heads into the opening race, his home Grand Prix hoping for a great result having been disqualified from the event last season when he finished the race in second place.
Ahead of the opening race Ricciardo took part in a team Q&A
(Infiniti Red Bull Racing)
What are you most looking forward to when you get off the plane in Australia?
The fresh air. I love going home and the fresh air really gives me that home feeling. I spend so much time now away from Australia, that anywhere in Oz feels like home really. It’s the cars, the accent, the food and the weather.
What’s your favourite thing about the first race?
“I’m just excited to finally go racing again. And for me it’s fun. Obviously I’m really privileged having it at home, but in any case, it means it’s a start to a new year. There is always new motivation and I think it’s exciting.”
What’s your favourite thing about Aussie F1 fans?
“They are not shy. They’ll go out and cheer and will be loud and flamboyant. They are pretty passionate about sports in general. It’s great to see Formula One growing a lot in Australia. It’s becoming quite a popular sport, which is really cool to see.
What’s your favourite thing about the track in Melbourne?
“The whole vibe and atmosphere is just amazing. It’s busy and there is always something going on. The track is fun. I’ve always liked street circuits. I think it’s a great and fast flowing circuit.”
How did testing go for you?
“Testing has been relatively good for us. We had a few reliability issues but we racked up a lot of miles and learned a lot. I still feel that we have a bit more to go. But there is no better place to do this than going racing. I’m ready to go.”
(Infiniti Red Bull Racing)
In what is only his second season in Formula One Daniil Kvyat has made the leap from the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team to the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team having come through the ranks of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme.
The Russian showed great pace during winter testing in the RB11 and is looking forward to going racing with his new team.
In a Q&A with the team ahead of his race debut for the Milton Keynes based outfit the Russian stated:
How do you feel about the first race of the season?
“There is always something special about the race in Australia. It’s my second race in Melbourne and I took a lot of great memories from the race last year. It’s a beautiful place. Good weather, good food and great atmosphere.”
What’s the best place you visited away from the track?
00154e “We went to the St. Kilda beach with our engineers to chill and look around and then went for dinner. It was pretty cool.”
What’s your best memory of the race last year?
“Well it was my first Formula One race and it all felt like a dream, because I didn’t know what to expect. It’s a memory that will never go away. I finished my first race in the points and became youngest-ever scorer, so it was very special for me.”
What’s the best thing about Albert Park?
“It’s an interesting flowing track. It’s challenging and there is always something special about it.”
Looking back at the Testing. How did it go and are you looking forward to Australia now?
“We did our best in the testing. I wouldn’t say it was the smoothest, but it was productive. Compared to last year we were definitely on another level. I’m sure that there will be very tight competition in Australia. We’ll do our best.”
© Ben Johnston 2015