Daniil shares his views on life and Formula 1
Daniil shares his views on life and Formula 1
The beginning
It all started with go karting. One day my dad was driving me home from school, and we stopped to have a pizza. There was a karting track in that building, and I had wanted to get behind the wheel for a while already. Dad had allowed me to steer our family car a couple of times, but in the kart, I was on my own, and I liked that feeling very much. I was carried away with a passion for racing from day one and started to post some good lap times right away. That's how it started.
My first coach was Pavel Guskov. We met at my first professional testing session in Zelenograd town. He liked what he saw and told me that if I worked hard and worked a lot, it would pay off one day. I appreciate his help a lot. He explained to me that, most importantly, you must work hard.

He also taught me the basics of race craft: the lines, the braking points, and many other details. When I started to show some good speed, we mostly discussed races: about the importance of never giving up, always putting pressure on your opponents. He taught me never to show any weaknesses, to fight tough but clean.

Right after I made the move to open-wheelers from karting, I got a lot of advice from Enrico Toccacelo. We didn't have much time together but with his help, I adapted to the new car. He helped me to switch categories seamlessly. We only had a couple of races together, but he did the most important thing: laid the groundwork for my open-wheeler career. We keep in touch, and meet up every time I travel to Rome.
I started following Formula 1 when Michael Schumacher was the dominating force. He created an image of an unbeatable machine. I had a poster with his portrait in my bedroom, so I could pretty much say that he was my idol at the time when I had just started my racing career.

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to have a good talk with him. Once, when I was racing in the junior series, I took a photo with Michael. Me and a friend were at a karting race where Schumacher's son Mick was competing. I had some friends among the stewards, so I was watching the race from the race control tower when Michael came to have a talk with stewards. I caught up him afterwards in the paddock and asked for a photo.
Role model
I sympathize with a lot of great personalities in sports. Schumacher is one of them, but having a role model is not okay: you start mimicking someone else's image, and that leads you nowhere. You should stay true to yourself, remembering the lessons of those who came before you.
The sole purpose of racing was and always will be winning the title. That's the pinnacle of motorsport. But to be able to reach it, you have to conquer many others, one by one. Giving your best every time.
I never have enough time for hobbies. I like different sports: skiing, tennis, football, boxing. Many of these sports carry a risk of injury, so I must deliberately limit what I do. One of my favourite hobbies is my training routine.

I like to travel. We fly to many beautiful places but, in reality, I can barely take any time to enjoy new areas as we are always moving from one location to another. In fact, I prefer to stay home when I am on a break, although I do like to discover new places.
I understood that racing was to be my life quite early in my childhood. I realized that I wanted to become a professional racing driver and at some point we had to choose if I was to continue racing in Russia or take on a new challenge and move to Italy race with the best and to compete in the most prestigious events.

We moved to Rome in 2006, and it wasn't easy at first. I didn't know the language and had to adapt to many things. It was a totally new life but at the end of the day it was the right decision.
They were supportive of my passion for racing from the very beginning. Moving to another country wasn't an easy choice for them, of course, it was quite adventurous. I am lucky to have such brave parents.

My father always had my back throughout my whole junior career up until Formula 1, and it goes without saying that I wouldn't have made it without his support.
Second name
Kvyat is just four letters in Russian, five in English but non-Russian speakers rarely spell it correctly. When we first moved to Italy people misspelt it, which made me angry at first. I tried to manage it but later I just stopped caring.
Russia. Home for the soul, home for the heart. My physical home, the place where my shirts, jeans, and helmets are, is Monaco. I have had several homes of that type: Rome, Milton Keynes, now Monaco. But I was born in Russia, and it was and always will be my true home.
I have some favourite cities. Moscow, where I lived for several years with my parents and where I first went to school. Rome, where I've spent almost ten years and know almost every corner. Budapest, where I have raced a lot and where I had my first F1 podium. Monaco, of course.

Among the places I've visited but never lived, Rio is probably the most attractive. I've been there with my girlfriend, and it was fun.
Leisure time
I don't have much time for leisure, either. I do like skiing – there are plenty of good spots in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. I liked visiting Rio a lot and would like to go back.

I think it might be nice to vacation in New Zealand. I visited New Zealand with my dad when I was racing in Toyota Racing Series. There are plenty of nice motels, and places to visit. I'd love to go to Montreal when it's not race weekend there; the parties there are always great.
My attitude towards food is quite simple: I need it to live. I will eat pretty much anything: Russian, Italian, Japanese. If the dish is cooked and served well and you place it in front of me, I'll eat it.
I have my favourite spots in almost every city that I race: a couple of steakhouses in Melbourne, a sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Mr. Willis in Shanghai… and, of course, there are some great places in Rome, where we are always welcomed. I like to return to places I've already been.
In addition to Russian, I speak three more languages: Italian, English and Spanish. I learned Italian quite soon after moving to Italy, mostly with the help of team mechanics. I was growing up alongside these guys, so I had to adapt and had no other choice than to learn the language quickly. English is literally the primary language in the European junior series, so there's no way not to learn it. I learned Spanish of my own volition, just because I was curious.
I like real books and often take one on flights, although I must admit I might look like a dinosaur. I like Russian classics.

When I started racing in Formula 1, I read War and Peace by Tolstoy and Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak. Other books I have recently read include: The Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov, Orthography by Dmitry Bykov, A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, and Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paolo Coelho. I have also started reading Demons by Dostoevsky.

Sometimes I read autobiographies. When I get tired of serious literature, I read detective novels by Boris Akunin.
I prefer TV series to movies. I think people know that I like Game of Thrones. Recently, I've watched Vikings and I am now enjoying the TV series about OJ Simpson.
As with food, I'm open to almost anything musically. There are nice songs in every genre. I like classics, for example, Metallica, AC/DC, Kings of Leon, electronic music…anything up to ABBA.
Without the media, our sport would not have become as popular as it has. When I arrive at the racetrack, I am mostly interested in racing. I like to go in circles in fast cars. However, talking with media is a part of the job, which seems to have become more and more important in recent years.
Rivalries define your name. The stronger your competitors, the louder you can make your personal statement when you beat them. Every weekend we race with the best teams and drivers in the world. This is something that makes our sport unique: every race is a battlefield of the best.
The team is sort of a home for me. In Toro Rosso, I know all the people because I spend quite a lot of time here. Everyone and everything are very familiar. Team relations are very open and trusting, which is one of our keys to success.
People in Formula 1 tend to avoid friendships. In this industry, you can have some mates, with whom you might feel comfortable to communicate, and you might even hang out away from the track. But, in general, it's a working environment.

I have some friends, people who are not involved in motorsports. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to see them as often as I'd like.
My car of choice is a Porsche 911 or any Ferrari model.
Money is something you need for day to day life, something you can't cope with in the modern world. Like a pair of sneakers, jeans or t-shirt. In all honesty, I don't check my bank account often.
It's hard to imagine what will come next. Right now, my life is all about racing. Everything is focussed on a single goal. When this period becomes history, I'll take some time to relax and consider my future options.