Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Ferrari offered me Raikkonen’s race seat before Red Bull demotion – Kvyat

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In the round-up: Former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat claims he had received a contract offer from Ferrari to replace Kimi Raikkonen in 2016 before Red Bull demoted him back to Toro Rosso

In brief

Ferrari offered me Raikkonen’s race seat before Red Bull demotion – Kvyat

Kvyat raced with Red Bull from 2015 following a single year at Toro Rosso. He finished on the podium in China the following year, but weeks later was demoted back to Toro Rosso. Max Verstappen took his place at the Spanish Grand Prix and scored a sensational win on his debut for the team.

“At the time I had also a proposal to race for Ferrari to replace Kimi at the time,” Kvyat told the Track Limits podcast. “Not many people know about it, but that’s what was going on behind the curtain.

“It was a very difficult situation also for me mentally to go back from being wanted by Ferrari and having seen the contract in front of you. And then you go back to Toro Rosso suddenly.” Kvyat eventually joined Ferrari as a development driver in 2018.

Use GPS to set race order during red flags – Steiner

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner wants the FIA to set the race position order under red flags using GPS positioning data to determine what order cars were in when the race is stopped.

The Australian Grand Prix’s final restart order was reset to the order under the penultimate restart after the race was red flagged before cars had entered sector two. Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg had risen to fourth by that time, but was moved back to eighth for the final Safety Car lap.

“With the technology that we have these days, GPS is accurate enough – we use GPS for the blue flag for example,” Steiner told Sky Sports. “They say it’s not accurate enough for a finishing position yet it’s accurate enough for a blue flag – we need to make our mind up what it is and what it isn’t.

“I really think there needs to be a lot of thinking. We could have frozen everything, via camera and via GPS, at the exact moment when the red flag came out.”

Indy 500 open test rained off

The second day of the Indianapolis 500 open test was called off after persistent rain fell over the speedway yesterday.

Friday was supposed to see a second full day of running, however consistent rain rendered any running impossible. Almost all the 34 entrants took to the track on Thursday’s opening day, with only RC Enerson not participating. Josef Newgarden set the fastest speed over the course of the opening day with an average speed of 227.686mph.

Teams will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 12th for practice and qualifying ahead of the grand prix the day after. The official opening of practice for the Indy 500 takes place on the following Tuesday.

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Comment of the day

With the FIA still calling for F1 tyres to feature a ‘cliff’ with compounds for 2025 and beyond, reader lynn-m questions the need for a variety of pit strategies at all…

I don’t get where the obsession with having to have pit strategy came from.

For a lot of F1’s history the only reason cars came into the pits was if they were suffering from a car issue or after the introduction of slicks if there was a need to change from slick to wets or vice versa.

Even when pit stops started to become more common in the eighties there wasn’t really much strategy involved as drivers just pitted if tyres started to go off or if they wanted to switch to another compound and even then it wasn’t something everybody did as seeing some (or sometimes even all) drivers go the entire race without stopping was still commonplace.

And despite the lack of pit strategy the racing was perfectly fine and was in fact better and less predictable in some regards because nobody knew what anyone else was doing. And because of that the incentive to try and overtake on the track was higher as you never knew if the car ahead would be stopping or not. Especially since you never knew what compounds they had on. And for fans not knowing any of that made the races feel less predictable and more interesting because we never knew what anyone would be doing until they did it.

I think the only reason pit strategy is seen as so important now is because you have a whole generation of fans who don’t know racing without it so feel like they need it because for them it’s always been there. I think those of us old enough to remember the racing before refuelling was introduced in 1994 will know how good the racing still was without the strategy and how the focus would actually be on the racing.

When refuelling was introduced in 1994 it gave us strategy but also made the actual racing worse and reduced the amount of overtakes that were going on on the track. It shifted the dynamic of how races were planned, How they played out and how much input drivers had in a way that wasn’t positive.

They planned strategy on Saturday, fuelled the car for the first stint and were then limited by that as if you put 15 laps of fuel in for the first stint there’s not much room to extend and if you shorten the stint you have compromised your race by carrying more fuel than you needed to at the start. Everyone was dictated by the first stint with very little driver input.

Both before refuelling and after it it was more reactive, more about drivers and less planned out and that makes things less predictable, more dynamic and more interesting as well as putting it more in the hands of the drivers as they can manage tyres to extend a stint, They could manage them to go non stop….. They can’t do that with refuelling which puts it more in the hands of the strategy guys and the computers.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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21 comments on “Ferrari offered me Raikkonen’s race seat before Red Bull demotion – Kvyat”

  1. Mmm, considering he didn’t perform that well in red bull, ferrari would’ve also been a high pressure environment, but maybe they’re a bit more tolerant to underperformers than red bull are, they kept a declining raikkonen and then declining vettel more than I’d have expected.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      22nd April 2023, 6:17

      Except he did perform well at Red Bull. In his only full season at the team he outscored Daniel despite starting one race less and got four podiums with the team

      The incident that resulted in him being (unjustly) sent back to Toro Rosso IMO was simply a result that he had got too close to Vettel in the previous race and this (presumably) got him in trouble with Marko.

      In trying to avoid the same thing happening again, it happened again but worse. Had Red Bull then not pulled the trigger on his career, he could have been the one to win the Spanish GP not Verstappen

      And before anybody tells me he isn’t Verstappen, Pastor Maldonado won the same race four years prior

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        22nd April 2023, 11:17

        There is a lot of missing information in your analysis, aside from the presumption that if a decent and performing Red Bull driver would mess up with the team’s former champion in a rival team, Helmut Marko would sack him because of that.

        I wonder why did Ferrari go for Leclerc instead of Kvyat for 2019.

        Kvyat and Mazepin both think of themselves as more competent and performing that they are in reality, both have a tendency to believe in unreal scenarios and both seem unable to cope with their actual performance levels.

        Pastor Maldonado’s win was an unfortunate shame for the History of Formula 1. It downgraded that value of a Grand Prix Win. But it brough us to reality. Every driver in Formula 1 is quick, every driver is able to win a Grand Prix. But to be a Formula 1 driver you must repeat those results after and after and after. Maldonado won a Grand Prix – well, De Cesaris should have won the Belgian GP of 1991, but that would not erase his crashing record.

        1. José Lopes da Silva, there were contemporary reports that Marko did verbally abuse Kvyat for that clash with Vettel in the Chinese GP, criticising Kvyat for clashing with “his driver” – i.e. even though Vettel was now driving for Ferrari, he was still more attached to Vettel than he was to Kvyat.

          Marko has a quite close personal relationship with Vettel – bear in mind that Vettel and Marko sometimes even went on joint holidays when Vettel was at Red Bull. Even now, nearly a decade after he last drove for Red Bull, Marko reportedly still has a close enough relationship with Vettel that he is reported as having recently approached him with an offer to join Red Bull Racing in a senior managerial role.

        2. Jonathan Parkin
          22nd April 2023, 12:31

          It’s possible there is some missing parts to my analysis, but I do see evidence of a hierarchy in terms of drivers at Red Bull.

          Vettel for instance was allowed to alarmingly drop from his previous WC form in 2014 before he voluntarily left for Ferrari and there was certainly a seat for him at Red Bull in 2015 if he had wanted it

          Likewise Verstappen needed time to mature into a WC and this was granted too

          However the same curtesy was not extended to Kyvat, Gasly or Albon.

          And considering that Briatore wanted Piquet Jr. to crash in a race to benefit his Number 1, yes I do believe Marko would drop a driver for crashing into his favourite even though he was at a different team

        3. I am still trying to figure out why Maldonado’s win is a shame to F1 ? What’s wrong with that one ? I am afraid there is something ugly in this comment …

  2. Record for the longest COTD in the sites history perhaps?

    I largely agree though. Strategy can be interesting and can add to races at times but it can also be a detriment to the on-track product if the focus is more on strategy than the actual racing.

    I also don’t like it when it’s forced be it through mandatory stops, Mandatory pit windows or tyres that are designed to degrade.

    Strategy is always better when it’s open, When it’s down to teams and drivers reacting to what they think others are doing and trying to outsmart them. Trying to force specific strategies through artificial means takes away a lot of what can make it so interesting to begin with.

    Thats the whole issue with the forced high degredation concept. It takes something that happened organically during the 2010 Canadian GP and tries to artificially emulate it without actually having any of the things that actually made the higher than expected tyre wear that weekend interesting and exciting to begin with. That been that nobody was expecting it, Nobody had planned for it & nobody knew exactly how to deal with it.

    Race strategy today would be far better if it was more in the hands of teams and drivers with them having more freedom on what tyres they ran and how they use them. And if everyone was more in the dark about what compounds everyone was using.

    Would be interesting to see how teams and drivers would handle strategy if they didn’t know what compounds other cars were running and therefore also had less knowledge in regards to when or even if cars they were racing would be pitting.

    1. I was late to comment on the article so I’ll repost here for visibility:

      I feel like fans that complain about the current tyres and tyre strategies are a vocal minority. I’d bet F1’s data from surveys of the audience like the excitement that stems from the current arrangement of pit stops.

      Sure they could try something else, but if it ain’t broke… There’s no guarantee switching philosophies would lead to more entertaining races in the slightest.

      And yes, F1 exists to provide exciting races. It doesn’t mean that excitement should come at the cost of sporting integrity but designed to degrade races tyres do not hinder that. The tyres are the same for everyone.

      “Race strategy today would be far better if it was more in the hands of teams and drivers with them having more freedom on what tyres they ran and how they use them.”

      I think that’s an unfounded assumption, it might be, but there’s no guarantee in the slightest. F1 has changed a lot since the 20th century, looking at things the way they were in the first half of the competitions existence and trying to apply it to todays level of technology and investment is a bit disingenuous.

      1. Absolutely.
        Nothing is left to chance by the teams anymore. Literally every possible variable is simulated and tested thousands of times in the virtual world prior to even arriving at the circuit. Months before…
        Teams have an enormous library of knowledge on every tyre before they even see it, and they are remarkably consistent from batch to batch compared with race tyres of the past.

        Some oldies like to think everything was better before, but seem to forget that before used to include cars that failed regularly due to poor reliability, handled unpredictably at times, and were far more fatiguing to the driver resulting in more driving errors. A lot of that time also included refuelling, where teams could decide how fast they wanted to go at each pit stop.

        F1 has never and will never be a wheel-to-wheel racing series. Open wheel series in general are usually poorer in that aspect.
        At least with a range of strategy options – preferably with more variables – we get a small chance that something unpredictable or unexpected may happen occasionally.
        With cars still being too spread out in performance (the F1 way) there will always be a need to induce variables.

  3. Hahah riiiight Kvyat, tell him he’s dreaming. It might have been a discussion but there is no way he would have flat out declined a serious Ferrari opportunity.

  4. I largely agree with COTD. Forcing strategies is kinda silly. No requirement for a stop would make races quite interesting. It can be done as Albon showed in Australia last year. It was such a shame that he had to pit.

    Also, I dare say Steiner would have quite a different opinion if he was Alpine’s Team Principal…

  5. Bull sh it on Kyvat. Agree with the COTD. Unless you can run a race without a pitstop the strategy is contrived and pointless.

  6. Agree with COTD
    Seems though Domenicali has a different view He can have that but I’m offended by the “old people,hands/heads”
    Here from elsewhere

    because now they need to think differently, how to manage development over the year. We are talking about sprint – that could be a factor.

    You can have more accidents and so on, that’s part of the game so they need to control in a different way. That is better for the unpredictability of the sport.

    “So that is something that has been very difficult to put into the hands of the old people

  7. In hindsight, he should’ve taken the offer, although even if he did, he wouldn’t necessarily still be at Ferrari presently.

    Steiner’s suggestion is good.

    Fear alongside exhaustion from tense championship battles.

    Still snow in Lapland this deep into the Northern Hemisphere spring, assuming the tweet images are from recent days.

    I largely agree with the COTD.
    I don’t mind the two compounds minimum rule, meaning at least a single stop per driver in a dry race, but good points overall.

    1. What did you have for breakfast, out of interest?

  8. Haas team principal Guenther Steiner wants the FIA to set the race position order under red flags using GPS positioning data to determine what order cars were in when the race is stopped

    Surely the fairer way would be to use the GPS and video to determine the positions just before the incident with applied penalties for people causing the incident determining any backward shift for guilty parties.
    The question being whether to have a time penalty or a place penalty. The latter seems more defined.

    I wonder if the place penalty should be one where you have to earn your way out of the debt, so to speak. i.e. Someone with a 5 place penalty when at P17 needs to be treated as effectively at P22, so they need to finish P5 on the road to be considered to be in the points.

  9. COTD:

    I don’t get where the obsession with having to have pit strategy came from.

    Viewers and fans need to be entertained. For the vast majority of people, that means racing for position. To achieve that, you need two things: 1) Differences in pace (bonus points for when this varies over the course of the race) and 2) a faster car behind a slower car.

    Pitstops are a natural way to achieve both, because they were at one point introduced to make the cars faster over a certain race distance. There are other ways to achieve these things, but since they’re more artificial they tend to be less popular.

    At least… that’s what people tend to say. But while reverse grids are often mocked, events where you have fast cars starting at the back tend to be popular and highly rated.

  10. I’ve said for a while that the problem with the current tyres isn’t the wear, it’s that their delta isn’t big enough.

    If they produced 3 sets with a substantial delta (and corresponding wear), it might just get teams to take more chances instead of every single team adopting the same approach race after race.

    If it became more a matter of 2 or 3 stops on sifts being able to compete with (say) a single stop on medium/hard combos we’d likely see some teams roll the dice more often and we’d see again faster cars cutting through a field more often.

    Currently there’s just no chance of that happening because the tyres simply don’t have a big enough differential for long enough.

  11. Ferrari offered me Raikkonen’s race seat

    Sure enough when Daniil arrived at the factory there all neatly sealed in plastic was Kimi’s race seat with a note “Daniil will collect”

    Kimi was nearby safety glasses on , angle grinder in hand ,working on his new race seat

  12. If true, tells you how they rated Raikkonen in Ferrari in those years. Gently reminder that, to date, Raikkonen won the last Drivers’ title for Ferrari

  13. Teams should be allotted a set number of tires for the season. Let them decide how they use them. Reduce the number of practices and tire sets if F1 are really concerned about money and the environment.

    The same with DRS. Let the drivers choose when to use it.

    Change the point system – award points from 19 down to 1 all the way down the field. Make 13th more important than 16th will make that racing better..

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