Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat has spoken out against the rule in this year’s regulations that mean any driver who has to use more than four engine components receives a penalty.
Red Bull – along with McLaren – incurred grid place penalties at the Austrian Grand Prix for numerous power unit infractions, with the quartet forming the back two rows of the grid. Jenson Button was hit hardest of all with a 25-place penalty. However, since he couldn’t possibly drop that many places, he was given an additional time penalty to make up the deficit.
Kvyat, to exercise his point, compared Formula 1 to other sports.
“F1 is a sport first of all, and I don’t know any other sport where you get an injury and have to start even further back. Imagine a sprinter gets an injury and then in the 100m race has to start 50m behind everyone else – that wouldn’t be fair.”
He called for a change to the rule for 2016, feeling that it hurts the sport to hinder those already at a disadvantage;
“I always found this rule ridiculous to be honest. Hopefully they will realise that it’s not really right and hopefully next year they will correct this.”
It is Red Bull’s feeling that Renault’s apparent shortcomings are at the heart of the team’s woes this season. Team boss Christian Horner asserted that up to 85% of the car’s deficit to the front-runners is down to the engine, with 15% more due to the chassis.
“I think what Christian said is more or less a fair assessment. At places with longer straights we might actually look OK on paper, but that’s because we have to compromise our setups (by reducing downforce) which is something that the teams with more power don’t have to do.
The handling of the car in corners doesn’t help either. We would like another step from our engine supplier, but we have trust in Renault that they will be able to change the situation for the better. After that, we will try to work on the chassis.”
The Russian didn’t score any points at Red Bull’s home race in Austria, and his team mate Daniel Ricciardo was only able to salvage one when he finished in tenth place, but still, he remains upbeat for the next race.
“Silverstone should suit us more than Canada and Austria. Hopefully we will be able to bring points – both of us – which we need right now, but I am not expecting magic.
We have a few updates for the next few races so we have to see whether they’re working. We hope to improve both high and low-speed areas so we will have a few tweaks with the aero and see where we go.”
However, he is less ambitious for his home race in Russia in a few months, as it is a track dependent on a mighty power unit.
“I hope to do the best possible at every race. It doesn’t matter where – Russia, China – it makes no difference to me. I will just take it as a normal race, but it doesn’t look like the circuit will be the best for us at this stage, as Sochi is a power circuit.”
Despite hosting Formula 1’s first Russian Grand Prix in 100 years in 2014, Kvyat prefers the traditional European circuits to newer ones, even if they are compatriots.
“I prefer old-style tracks like Monza, Spa and Silverstone. There’s a trend at the moment for tracks to be very smooth with no elevation change and we’re making them a bit too safe, and as a driver, you want to feel the risk.”