Kvyat says he was “on the edge of too young” for F1 debut at 19

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In the round-up: Daniil Kvyat says he was “on the edge of too young” when he made his Formula 1 debut at the age of 19.

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Matthew shares his first-hand account of being at the notorious 2005 United States Grand Prix:

We were in the stands that weekend. This all predated everyone having a smartphone with them all day, every day, so the first we knew was when the giant screens showed a Toyota heading straight to the pits at the end of the formation lap, followed by another car and another. Not one hint of what was happening had been made by the commentators at the circuit (I don’t remember if this was an event where the old Kangaroo TV service was available – we certainly didn’t have one). There was no mention of any concerns through the whole build up to the race or, as I recall, explanation afterwards.

Seeing just six cars take the start was the most surreal thing, like something from an anxiety dream where you turn up to a job interview with no trousers on. We walked to the stands directly opposite the podium at the end of the race where the jeers were pretty well deafening, until Tiago Monteiro decided he was not going to let circumstances stop him marking the moment and he got cheered.

The local press wasn’t especially illuminating on what had happened in the Monday newspaper so it took a few more days until we were back home to access a decent account of events. I don’t know that the sport would actually communicate properly to fans at the track about a similar situation these days, but as we’re all usually just a few taps away from reliable reporting I guess we wouldn’t be left quite so badly in the dark now.
Matthew Taylor

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On this day in F1

  • 50 years ago today Piers Courage was killed in a terrible crash at Zandvoort. The race continued, and Jochen Rindt won.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 16 comments on “Kvyat says he was “on the edge of too young” for F1 debut at 19”

    1. Did not bother to read if that got printed but recently heard what i assume is that very same Willy Weber Interview (Native german speaker) and he actually gives Schumacher’s zodiac sign as a reason for something (like, a Character trait or something). in other words i wouldn’t take him too seriously.

    2. Schumacher got a taste for F1 when he tested the Ferrari following Massa’s accident.
      He came back a little rusty in a car that was eating rear tyres for fun. While it didn’t really do his record any favours, I’m pretty sure he did it for his own enjoyment and I don’t think anybody should be criticised for that.

      1. Well said @johnnik, it might have decreased is per race stats, but I doubt that’s really something that would bother him or anyone close to him all too much. As Rosberg’s account of how it was to be his teammate shows, he still was competitive, and indeed, the car wasn’t great, but though there were times it looked like he was not as sharp as he used to be, things like that fastest qualifying lap at Monaco (and I guess the reason he wasn’t on pole too?) were good indicators in a good car he would still have been a force to reckon with. He stopped when he didn’t enjoy it enough any more to fight for it, I think.

        And also, he might not have been quite as sharp, but by all accounts, he was a lot more open and relaxed with the press, which isn’t a bad thing to have. I have not been his biggest fan for a long time (ah, 1993 when he was young, promising and freshly impressive, untainted ;-), but he was and is one of the greatest in the sport, and I cannot feel sorry that he came back for two years.

        1. Fully agree mate.

          I was going to mention the fastest lap at Monaco. I’m not one of these people that retain all the stats easily, but pretty sure that was the biggest highlight of the comeback.
          Certainly came back with a great attitude and interviewed really well. Such a shame about his condition, I’m sure he’d be an absolutely fascinating person to listen to now.

          1. Gavin Campbell
            22nd June 2020, 9:30

            Yeah its a real shame (for himself most importantly) that we didn’t get to see him come back in a pundit/personality sense post racing. I wonder if he would of been much more open to press things after the 2nd stint and a bit of down time.

            But that Mercedes was not balanced well – I still remember sitting at the brand new arena section of Silverstone. FP1 and after a few cars there was a screech as Schumacher arrived backwards into the corner. Never a good sign!

    3. I feel like I’ve read similar words about Michael’s 2010 comeback before.

      Interesting COTD, and weird that nothing got out beforehand even through the trackside loudspeakers.

      1. Ref COTD.I think this is something a lot of people don’t appreciate who didn’t attend race meetings just a decade ago. Very little in the way big screens, micky mouse speakers that even if you were close to were drowned out by the cars on track. And quite normal to leave a race with only a rough idea of who finished where. But obviously in the COTD case negotiations were going on to the very last with everyone involved being tight-lipped about it. I’m sure I read somewhere that even the teams that did take the start were surprised the others went into the pits.

        1. Yep @riptide, comparing my first and last visit to Hockenheim (2016 versus 2006, I think? @bascb ?), there was a lot more information (and better quality race announce-system) to know what was going on, despite little functioning network or wifi at the track in 2016 (evenings we could update, for example via this site, from the campingsite), it was notably easier to follow, and you have the various fan-magazines as well that cover the event available in the fan zone – much more elaborate, to my recollection.

          1. We were there in 2007 – remember Hamilton had a great race there in his GP2 season @bosyber. Wholly agree about being pretty much completely in the dark with regards to positions – We bought a “track radio” thing, hoping it would help. But even when there was a decent signal, we couldn’t really hear anything on it, nor from what the screens said.
            And we had a screen pretty much right in front of us, but maybe not a great angle.

            In 2016 the internet went into overload at the start, but the sound and quality of the local broadcast was far better (and the engines weren’t quite that loud), and we did get internet at times to follow what was going on.

            1. @bascb yep (though his GP2 season was 2006, before his 2007 F1 debut ;) you clearly have a more detailed memory!

            2. Ahm, yeah. As you mention it was off course 2006 :-)

            3. Gavin Campbell
              22nd June 2020, 9:37

              Yeah back in the V8 days the little tannoy system for Commentary was so pointless. Also at Silverstone which is an old Airfield circuit the wide open space doesn’t lend itself to a few little tannoys.

              Basically you could hear the start on it and then thats about it as the field gets spread out.

      2. I forgot to add earlier: Also, on this day in F1: The 2015 edition of the Austrian GP took place.

    4. What is this Wild Willie on about?

      I enjoyed Schumacher comeback quite a lot.

      Just like I enjoyed Alonso McLaren years.

      A great driver is great in P1 or in P10, there were many memorable moments there and a reminder a person can perform at advanced age.

      Sure results were poor by his standards, but what should all sportsmen retire at their peak?

      If they were fun before the peak, why not after?

      1. Indeed @jureo, and look at Kimi Raikkonen for example – still showing good racing, still enjoying himself, why not (as long as he’s still a good racer, there is no real issue with it for me)

        1. I wanted to mention Kimi, he is a fine example. Fun to follow, interesting to watch, etc.

          F1 needs 26 car grid asap.

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