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Daniil Kvyat: “Playstation Generation? I don’t even have a single game on my iPhone!”
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Posted By: James Allen  |  21 May 2014   |  4:50 pm GMT  |  87 comments

Daniil Kvyat looks calm on the eve of the biggest challenge of his young career.

“Not only have I never raced in Monaco, I’ve never been here before,” smiles the young Russian, in the Toro Rosso wing of the monstrously large Red Bull floating motorhome, just outside the Monaco paddock.

Earlier today the rookie, who has scored points in three of his first five Grands Prix, did his first Monaco track walk and tried to take in the bewildering ribbon of tarmac lined with barriers which is F1′s most famous venue.

“It looks quite tight, not much space or freedom. But it looks really cool; the Swimming Pool in particular” says Kvyat. “I’ve never driven here, so I don’t know what to say.

“I’ve studied on board cameras, tried to learn the lines. I had just half a day on the simulator, but I think it’s enough. You learn the configuration, which kerb you can use and which you cannot. When you go to the track it’s a different reality. You try things and if they it’s good you continue and if it’s not you change your approach. You have to react.

“I hope I can get the right rhythm and do really well. I think it’s a good track to show your potential.”


Will this be the scariest race he has done? ” I think in the beginning it will not be easy to put the full throttle on,” replies the Russian, F1′s youngest points scorer. “But it’s all about the right approach. You need to get everything right from the beginning of the weekend to get a good result.”

It is unusual for an F1 driver to arrive in F1 without ever having driven some kind of car around Monaco. Valterri Bottas did it last year after jumping straight from GP3, which doesn’t race in Monaco, into F1. Kvyat followed his lead this year.

How does he anticipate the challenge of building up speed without any form of mental database of the circuit and its quirks?

“No secrets – I’ll not try to do anything I don’t know or try anything clever. That won’t help me. I’ll do what I know, which is to drive fast.”

JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan observed that from his experience of running young drivers, building up the confidence to peak on Saturday afternoon for qualifying is the key and that if you put the driver into the right place with a clear track and he peaks at the right time, he can find a second to two seconds in himself.

“Two seconds is hard to find anywhere, the limit I find tomorrow should be a good baseline for Saturday. Then in qualifying, you need to be really confident around here to be quick and to put the car really close to the walls,” he said.

Amusingly Kvyat shot down the notion that he is from the “Playstation Generation” of kids arriving in F1 who grew up gaming and seeing the world digitally.

“Everyone says ‘Playstation Generation’, but I never had a Playstaion,” laughs Kvyat. “Karting is enough. Being on a real track. I was never a fan of gaming. If you check my IPhone, there is not even one game on it!!”

Kvyat is a likeable but very focussed young driver, who expresses himself well in English and seems already at home in F1. He impressed last season in GP3 and has started as well as he could have imagined possible in his F1 career.

He looks to be one of those who knows that, in becoming an F1 driver, the hard work starts now, as opposed to being an end in itself.

His challenge this weekend, while far from unprecedented, will be interesting to watch.

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87 Comments
  1. DonSimon says:

    Like the kid, seems grounded and has potential. I wish I could say I would have been that level headed before my first Monaco GP but I still crap myself playing F1 2013. It just seems impossibly tight.

    1. Howard P says:

      I’ve tried Monaco in F1 2012 (didn’t buy this years version, too samey), it takes 10 or so laps but once you get into a trance like state, you can put in very competitive, error free lap times.

      1. DonSimon says:

        The AI is much improved. The classics side of things is quite nice. I may or (much more likely) may not have paid for it. Mac user so we are pretty starved of titles anyway.

      2. David in Sydney says:

        You sound like a better gamer than me…

      3. Laurence H says:

        Ah yes, the PlayStation Monaco trance. I remember it fondly…

    2. Bryce says:

      After reading the article, I am also beginning to like him. So refreshing to hear a youngster seemingly avoiding non-physical and often anti-social games.

    3. James says:

      I once ruled Monaco on Grand Prix 3 and Grand Prix 4. I know little about the latest Playstation generation.

      1. DonSimon says:

        I was a dab hand on GP1 on the Amiga 500 haha. As for Playstation? I have a mac hooked up to a telly. Worth taking a look at, but you will need a pad/wheel.

      2. Kenneth M'Boy says:

        I used to love the old microprose Gp games. Didn’t get into 4, lost interest in games by then. I tried to rekindle the fun with F12011 and 2012 but they are just not as addictive now. Plus there’s no time with a toddler running about.

        I can’t imagine F12014 with ERS and fuel flow restrictions. Plus I wonder if sales will be down cause the game isn’t noisy enough, lol.

      3. DonSimon says:

        You can change fuel flow on 2013, on the harder difficulty you really have to think about tyres and fuel etc. The AI cars will do you underbraking and once the tyres go it’s so hard to be smooth with the throttle. Worth torrenting.

      4. Steve Rogers says:

        The only F1 game I ever played was in 1994 and was the Microprose 1991 version, with the weird and challenging right-angled Phoenix street circuit. Much to my surprise, Monte Carlo, which had always looked a bit daft to me, turned out to be my favourite and the only one I can still feel 20 years later. And this was a very primitive sim by modern standards, and all the surfaces were flat colour, nothing like photographic.

    4. Stephen says:

      I worry about his weight though. His upper arm in the photo above where he is signing an autograph is dreadfully thin. Is this sport or a fashion runway with stick thin arms & legs? This is becoming a bad joke for F1!! They should immediately lift the minimum driver/ car weight 15-20kgs – it should be a non-negotiable for all teams, drivers and the FIA to mandate. Lighter/ shorter drivers can wear weight suits or ballast.

      It’s actually discrimination at play IMHO, not to mention the health risks. Couthard has already admitted to eating disorders in the past, so how likely is it that many current drivers have problems given the extreme nature of things now.

      1. DonSimon says:

        Then you are in a situation where lighter drivers have to wear weight suits in Bahrain/Malaysia. Wouldn’t be fair.

        I don’t like the weight regs any more than you though, that is for sure. People shouldn’t be avoiding food and fluids before quali, it’s insane and someone is going to get hurt.

      2. VV says:

        Lighter drivers will always have an advantage, regardless of weight limit, that small ammount of weight that a lighter driver saves, can be added as ballast to a better point in the car, and achieve a better balance.

        If the Drivers weight and body condition are made irrelevan, then the sport is no longer at the bleeding edge, no longer at its maximum.

        I’m yet to see any of the heavier drivers choosing to shave their head to save weight, no one is filing down their nails and waxing their legs to save a few grammes. So until they are, we may aswell dismiss the weight issue as the usual mind games and excuses.

      3. Step says:

        That’s a nonsensical comment. It is obvious that drivers today are underweight and lacking muscle mass (look at photo above). So on your thinking F1 & open wheeler racing effectively becomes a sport for ‘Jockeys’ (forget talent – Mansell, Jones, Hunt would never race today). Weight suits does not have to be the answer. It could be a mandated location in or around the driver for adding weight to the car. The lighter drivers should not get to put ballast anywhere on the car. There is an easy solution to this issue. You are just mirroring Vettels comments above – he is a jockey and is selfish. It is not normal for an average male of average height to be weighing less than 70kg (much less 80kg).

      4. John says:

        F1 should change to rules to include driver weight and driver weight should be driven by the heaviest driver on the grid
        The other teams with lighter drivers would ballast the car not the driver to equal the same weight for every team

      5. VV says:

        If you take the average height for a male in the UK, which is about 175 CM, the point at which the BMI is in the “Normal” part of the scale is approximatly 55-75KG, 80KG is actually overweight. Ofcourse BMI is flawed, but it isnt out right wrong.
        What really matters, is are the current crop of drivers healthy? I would argue they are, much more so than many drivers of yesteryear. Drivers today look like they could finish the GP again when they are done. Many of us saw, most will have heard of Mansell pushing his car over the line and collapsing in Dallas.

        An F1 drivers body is every much a highly engineered machine as the car, they are athletes, if another driver is fitter than them, he has an advantage. They all have trainers, diet is as much part of their job as lap times.

        It’s the same in every other sport, If I could take free kicks to rival David Beckham, I still wouldnt make it into the Torquay United, let alone Manchester United team because I can’t run for more than 5 minutes and im 3 stone overweight

  2. Witan says:

    In other news the Mercedes team twitter feed seems to be trying to bolster Rosberg’s ego in a big way this afternoon.

    A great cook, special series helmet owner, floods of photos of his win last year.

    Do they think he is a little fragile?

  3. Gaz Boy says:

    If he’s quick enough, he’d old enough………
    By the way, with all the odds on when (not if) Mr Maldonado has a “Monaco kiss” as well as his future adventures being in doubt, it reminds me of a T-shirt stall around Silverstone being sold last year about the bovine’s that are scattered in the fields around the circuit:
    “Zombie Cows everybody Run Away! They want my brains!”
    Well how about for this year on a human level:
    “Zombie Venezuelan driver everybody Run Away! He has no brains!”

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      PS Is Mr Maldonado’s contract with Lotus for 1 or 2 years? If it is multi year is it conditional that PDVSA provide fiscal support to Enstone?
      The sports minister in Ven sounds pretty insistent that, and I quote “there won’t be another dollar for motor sport [sponsorship] activities from the state.”
      Difficult times at Lotus possibly could get financially even more difficult……….

      1. DonSimon says:

        I would ask ‘are Lotus going to be around in 2 years’ as the more pressing question. Either way PM is done with F1 this year. They closed betting on first retirement but pastor was 11/1!!

  4. jmv says:

    Really impressed so far, reminds a bit of Kimi when he arrived with little experience.

    JEV has won here in previous series. If this kid outqualies or outraces JEV, that will be a big blow to his aspirations to move up the F1 ladder.

    1. Andrew M says:

      I think JEV’s main chance of moving up the ladder went when the senior team picked Daniel instead of him.

      1. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        Its an interesting comparison. They say the best judge of a driver is viewing him against his team mate. After all, Ric wasn’t that much faster than JEV during last season. It was pretty close between the two of them. Now Ric is doing really well against Vet.I wonder if JEV would have been able to do the same?

        Fast forard to this year and Kyvat seems to be dominating JEV (at least in terms of results). So arguably, Kyvat may be a better driver than Ric. Especially seeing as Ric had a half a year in the HRT to get used to the circuits and racing in F1. Very impressive for Kyvat!

  5. Peter says:

    He reminds me very much of Raikkonen junior.

  6. aveli says:

    playstation was around in 1991, before any of the current drivers entered f1 and so far only a single driver, mardenborough, out of billions have gamers, has made it into professional racing. so all this nonsense about playstation generation?

    1. Don’t forget Luca Ordonnez who raced at Le Mans for the G Drive sponsored car.

      1. aveli says:

        oh yeah, only a hand full. it would be understandable if 50% of the grid got into f1 via playstation. as it stands, kyviat tells them that they are lying and invited them to inspect his iphone for games. only if their reporting was based on evidence.
        we don’t like prejudice!

    2. Random 79 says:

      I’m pretty sure the original PSX was released in ’95.

      Anyway, you’re right and so is Kvyat – the only thing that will really get you experience at driving a real track is driving a real track.

      I’m pretty good on the PlayStation but I don’t think for a second that I could drive a real F1 car around Monaco.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I don’t think Mr M in his Lotus can drive an F1 car around Monaco either………..
        He has competed in 3 grand prix at Monaco and for one reason or another he has stuffed his car into the barrier in all 3!
        Well at least that’s consistency!

      2. VV says:

        Playstation was ’94 and ’95. Games didnt really get anywhere close to a decent representation until the early noughties though, and you only have to play the “same” representation of a track on different games to realise how different (and thus wrong) they probably are.

        Remember Richard Hammond driving one of the Renault V10 F1 cars on Top Gear. He wasnt close to quick enough for that car, and while he isnt F1 standard, We all know that he is a very skilled driver, much more so than any of us normals.

        I’d reccomend doing one of those driving expereicnes at a racetrack where you get to drive a Formula Renault car for a few laps. Fantastic fun, and probably the closest most of us will get to single seater racing.

      3. aveli says:

        so why did kvyat offer his phone for inspection? i

    3. James Clayton says:

      I think you’ve missed the point of the phrase.

      It’s not suggesting that people can train in computer games and jump straight into competitive racing, they’re merely the generation that grew up with realistic 3D generated environments available – and they’re used to pressing buttons to get things done.

      The last generation of F1 drivers grew into technology. This generation grew up with it.

      1. aveli says:

        so why would kvyat offer his iphone for inspection if what you’re saying is right?

      2. Random 79 says:

        He was just saying that he has no games on it, but the point is that even if he doesn’t play PlayStation he’s still part of the generation that grew up with it as well as internet and iPhones and probably a number of other things we didn’t have when I was a kid (and I’m not even that old).

        But just because he grew up with them it doesn’t mean he’s a tech-head or a gamer anymore that it means I’m an expert on internal combustion engines just because I grew up with them.

        It just means that – as James Clayton rightly pointed out – it’s maybe a little easier for him to get to grips with the new tech then a driver who’s perhaps ten or fifteen years older.

      3. James Clayton says:

        One swallow does not a summer make…

        Just because Kvyat never had a Playstation, Xbox or whatever, doesn’t mean the others didn’t. I remember in one of Hamilton’s podium interviews he said how great it was to be up on the podium with Kimi and recalled how he used to play as Kimi on the Playstation.

      4. aveli says:

        good effort random79 and james clayton. we all know that those two words playstation generation have only been used recently implying drivers honed their skills on game consoles. prejudice. why use those words to segregate drivers who all belong to the so called playstation generation? great attempt at logic all the same.

      5. Random 79 says:

        True enough about “PlayStation generation” maybe, but if you watch Hackers then you’ll know that before the PlayStation generation we had the Nintendo generation, which is essentially the same thing.

        Still, great attempt at holding onto your argument ;)

    4. Steve Rogers says:

      I remember reading that Jacques Villeneuve used a Playstation to learn the European F1 tracks. So drivers have found computer games useful, even if gamers as such haven’t graduated.

      1. aveli says:

        thank you steve rovers, yet villenurve has never been referred to as being of the playstation generation.

    5. Alec Tronnick says:

      I think a few readers are misunderstanding what the “play station Generation ” means….
      It’s not about who had an Xbox orPS2.
      what it’s getting at is those racers that spent hours on the game consoles, and came into real racing thinking that they knew everything…
      And because in gaming, if you crash, it doesn’t Cost anything, it doesn’t hurt so they take Kamikaze risks that wreck other racers weekend.
      Danii is just saying he got his experience in the real world.

  7. AlexD says:

    Boy….this guy is skinny!!! Is this what F1 forces drivers to be?

    1. David in Sydney says:

      If you lay off the hot chips, sweets and crisps from an early age your body can be quite lean. Our modern diets with 4,000 Kj meals are killing us.

      1. AlexD says:

        Do not think so…..he doesn’t have any muscles! The McDonald/Coca-Cola problem for some people is one thing, but he doesn’t look healthy, he doesn’t look like an athlete at all!

      2. aveli says:

        how can you do that? they taste so nice!

    2. Random 79 says:

      Short answer is yes, but Kvyat might just be that skinny anyway and if so it’s probably an advantage.

    3. RobertS says:

      That photo really highlights how small his arms are. It looks dangerously thin. I’m sure many other drivers look like that. It’s wrong.

    4. Peter W says:

      Yeah, I was going to post the same comment….it doesn’t look healthy to me!

  8. goferet says:

    Kvyat has been an inspiration for not only has he been keeping a calm head in the heart of the mid-field but has also become the youngest points scorer 3 times over.

    For sure, it’s a surprise learning of a driver that has never been to Monaco considering Monaco’s friendly tax laws.

    So yes, Kvyat’s progress this weekend will be interesting for should he have a good weekend, it would set him up as a future superstar and guaranteed Red Bull pilot.

    As for the playstation generation, it’s really odd that Kvyat isn’t a gaming fan, I mean even girls love gaming.

    So I guess, I will just put Kvyat in the box of the different people out in the world.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I always think if a driver is quick enough, he’s old enough. I totally agree the young Russian is very impressive indeed. He’s the real deal. Perhaps a future Red Bull deal awaits in the future? Or maybe Scuderia Maranello are preparing a daft contract for a few years time?
      By the way, you know that bump exiting the tunnel approaching the chicane that’s caused the likes of Jenson, DC, Nico Ros and Checo a few sleepless nights – why didn’t they get Montoya to jump up and down on it? That would have flattened it out! Mind you, Monty jumping up and down at Monaco might have caused a big sink-hole…………..
      Ah well, win some, loose some!

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Sorry typo, I meant draft contract.
        Although at this moment you would have to be daft to sign for the Maranello brigade!

      2. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        I understand that bump on the exist of the tunnel is thanks to Montoya when he decided to break test Schumi in 2004 Lol…

    2. Random 79 says:

      goferet’s favourite game:

      Gran Statismo – The Real Stat Simulator :)

    3. aveli says:

      he’s the only one to speak out. ask the other drivers before drawing your conclusions.

      1. goferet says:

        @ aveli

        Point taken.

    4. Alec Tronnick says:

      Hi Goferet,
      This weekend there will be 6 previous winners starting tha race, I guess last year with Webber there would have been 7.
      Which race had the most previous winners starting?
      Cheers

      1. James Allen says:

        No because Rosberg wasn’t a winner at the start of last year’s race

  9. Justin says:

    IPhone? Isn’t that word pretty much interchangeable with Playstation in that context?

  10. Leslie D'Amico says:

    How refreshing to hear a youngster say, “Karting is enough. Being on a real track. I was never a fan of gaming. If you check my IPhone, there is not even one game on it!!”

  11. Jeff says:

    How does a kid that tiny manage for finish a race? Seriously, I’m asking the question. Just how much strength does it take to finesse an F1 car?

    1. David in Sydney says:

      It takes stamina. He’d probably be able to run a marathon and still have enough energy to drive his F1 car…

  12. Richard says:

    I wonder if he played Gran Turismo 5 (Or 6 for that matter) or just bothered with Forza 5. He’s only 19 (I think) so he even could have done some Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2!

    I can’t remember Bottas doing any stupid things last year, but this years cars are so diffrent.

  13. Howard P says:

    I don’t have any games on my phone either, it’s either proper ones or nothing for me.

  14. Curro says:

    Hopefully Kvyat can bring back to F1 some of that calm, straightforward, no b***s*** approach that made Robert Kubica such a great asset to the sport.

    1. Daniil seems to add grammar “drive car fast” as a bonus.

      I loved Rob’s no nonsense approach. What a loss for F1.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Sounds like he already is :)

  15. Brian says:

    I had alot of doubts about this guy coming in to F1 at only 19 years old. I thought he was merely the product of a huge Russian effort to get F1 in Russia and to get a Russian driver a seat. And, that may be true as there is alot of mony behind him.

    But, my doubts were completely erased when he showed his true pace. The guy is a completely legitimate F1 pilot and is impressive on track. Not only that, he speaks with a maturity and an insight that goes well beyond his years.

    He should progress very well indeed and best of luck to him.

  16. RobertS says:

    He seems a good grounded driver. I reckon he will do well and be in formula one for a while.

    That picture of him signing the autograph shows just how skinny his arms are. Formula 1 seriously needs to look at drivers weight and health, no one should have to lose that much weight to race.

    1. JohnBt says:

      Jean Todt don’t seem to think so when JEV was hospitalized over a weekend. Some look famish don’t they?

  17. StevenM says:

    Future champion…

  18. JohnBt says:

    Kvyat is more matured than his age. And I don’t think one should typecast the young generation, Kvyat is a racer not a gamer. This young man has high potential to remain in F1 for years to come. Seen some of his F3 races and he’s very good. Wish him all the best for Monaco.

  19. SD says:

    Several years ago when he was just a kid I watched some of his karting races in Russia and was impressed of his flat out speed. I thought he could reach even F1. The only reason I very well remembered him was his last name as you don’t meet it very often over there))

  20. HulkenBerg says:

    Reminds me of a certain young German who used to drive for Torro Rosso.

  21. kenneth chapman says:

    the kid appears to have the basics needed for a future in F1. early days yet but it all looks good so far. he certainly has talent as he has proved since the first race. maybe when vettel goes there will be a place alongside ricciardo, now that i would like to see.

    1. Random 79 says:

      +1, although I’ll still enjoying watching Ricciardo beat Vettel for a little while yet :)

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        A@ random79…likewise. can’t get enough of that.

  22. NJ says:

    All hail the Playstation Generation!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JbeNdAUg9g

    That’s me driving around Monaco in GP4 with the Honda Earth Car.

  23. Richard says:

    Anyone else notice how thin his arms are?

  24. aveli says:

    prejudice is old fashion and fans don’t like it.

  25. Sergio says:

    A determined and smart guy who are able to be Champion among settled star drivers. I bet for him if he get the “resources” needed to succed in F1.

  26. Methusalem says:

    Amazing how he dominated Jean-Eric Vergne, who was seen by Scuderia Toro Rosso as a talent.

  27. Sturmovik says:

    Just because you’re young it doesn’t automatically make you a chav.

    1. Random 79 says:

      After a day or two of wondering what the hell a chav was I finally relented and Googled it.

      Based on my admittedly sloppy research I came to the conclusion that Kvyat is clearly not a chav as he is wearing his hat correctly.

      Anyone who wishes to refute my findings can find my research papers online Here.

  28. Tom says:

    Kvyat has been something of a revelation for me. Pretty much dismissed as a token Red Bull promotion when he was announced, he has proved he deserves his place. Reminds me of Robert Kubica’s arrival – no fanfare, just delivered results on track pretty much straight away.

    I can definitely see Red Bull lining him up at some point if he continues to progress/Vettel ends up leaving.

  29. Mike from Colombia says:

    This guy is focused and a star of the future.

  30. Mike84 says:

    Why did he only get 1/2 day in the simulator before racing a very-expensive car around this difficult track? Maybe he SHOULD get a PlayStation or Xbox or whatever F1 runs best on these days…

    1. Random 79 says:

      At a guess I would say that it’s because he has more driving talent in his little toe than the rest of us combined, but you might disagree :)

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