Daniil Kvyat returns to the scene of his most infamous Formula 1 moment for the Russian Grand Prix delighted that the sport is growing in popularity in his homeland.
The Russian endured a nightmare at the Sochi Autodrom in 2016 in what turned out to be his final race with Red Bull Racing before returning to Scuderia Toro Rosso, colliding twice with Sebastian Vettel in the opening four turns that earned himself a penalty, and ultimately saw him replaced by Max Verstappen.
“Since the first Russian GP back in 2014, Formula 1 in Russia has definitely grown a lot,” said Kvyat. “To have our own race was a big step for the country and more and more fans attend every year, so you can see that the interest in the sport is much bigger!”
Kvyat is hopeful of putting a complete weekend together in Russia for the first time this year having previously had either a good qualifying or a good race but not both. His best result was fifth whilst with Red Bull in 2015, but he has been outside the top ten on both his previous outings with Toro Rosso.
“This is always a special weekend for me as it’s my home race,” said Kvyat. “I’ve had very good qualifyings there but I’ve never actually been able to put the perfect race together in Russia, so I’d like to achieve it this year.
“It’s so cool to race here, I always feel the strong support of the Russian fans and I want to make the most out of this backing and thank everyone with a strong performance!
“In 2015 I qualified in P5, which was my best qualifying result with Toro Rosso. It was quite a nice moment and I have very good memories from that day. The race wasn’t great, but then the following year the situation was the opposite, with not the strongest of qualis but with a decent race. This time I’m looking to be strong on both Saturday and Sunday!”