Racing Point team boss: Justice prevailed

The US GP stewards were right to penalise Daniil Kvyat as he not only hit Sergio Perez but lined up the pass despite yellow flags, says SportPesa Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Perez and Kvyat were fighting over 10th place on the final lap of the Circuit of the Americas race.

Despite the yellow flags being waved for Kevin Magnussen’s beached Haas, Kvyat did not back off, instead activating his DRS to line up the pass on Perez.

But, for the second race in a row, instead of making a clean move, the Russian racer gave his rival a hefty whack.

Kyvat crossed the line in 10th place but was later handed a five-second penalty for hitting Perez, dropping him to P12.

Perez took 10th and the final point.

“He deserved it,” Szafnauer told Motorsport.com.

“You can’t make up all the time under double-waved yellows and not slow down, and then bounce off the kerbs into someone.

“I think justice prevailed. Without that Sergio would have held him off.

“If you look at the on-board, he just closes up under yellow. So without being able to close up you’ve only got a few turns left and you’re done.

“Checo [Perez] lifted like you’re supposed to – double-waved yellow, you’re supposed to prepare to slow down, not open the DRS.

“Why open the DRS if you’re prepared to lift and stop?”

Sunday’s result means SportPesa Racing Point are one point ahead of Toro Rosso in the battle for sixth in the championship.

“Two races left, so we’ll do all we can to try and catch up,” said Szafnauer.

“You want to finish as high as you can, independent of the money. But the money absolutely does matter.

“We’ve got a fight on our hands there, and we’ve got to maximise our points in the next two races. Anything can happen, but we’ll work hard.”

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Kvyat slams stewards for ‘bullsh*t’ penalty

Daniil Kvyat has been given a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Sergio Perez on the last lap of the United States GP.

The Russian driver had crossed the line P10, but the stewards judged him to have done so by taking out Perez. The penalty sees him drop to P12 and out of the points.

This is the second race in a row that the stewards have taken action against the Toro Rosso driver – Kvyat was handed a ten-second penalty in Mexico after sending Nico Hulkenberg into the barriers on the last lap.

Speaking to the media after the race, Perez was far from happy with the actions of his rival.

“He came so close under the yellow flag and then he pushed me off,” said the Racing Point driver.

“Is that OK? He just broke my car.

“I lift for the yellow flag, he came really close to me, he just attacked me afterwards. And then into 15 he just pushed me off, came and crashed into me. I gave him enough space and he just pushed me off the track.

“He broke the front wing, suspension, he just crashed into me and I gave him a lot of room.”

Kvyat unsurprisingly saw the incident differently and made his feeling towards the stewards clear after the race.

“F*ck. That’s bullsh*t, that’s unbelievable,” the Toro Rosso driver told Ziggo Sport.

“Stewards are completely… I don’t know, I have no words. It’s stupid, so stupid.

“I just went around the inside and he closed the door on me, it’s normal, then we touched and I overtook him around the outside. This isn’t acceptable, really.”

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Kvyat feel stewards are ‘killing the sport’

Daniil Kvyat was left furious by his ten-second time penalty at the Mexican GP, saying such decisions “just kill the sport”.

The Toro Rosso driver collided with Nico Hulkenberg at Turn 16 on the last lap of the race, sending Hulkenberg spinning into the wall and out of the points at the time.

Kvyat meanwhile crossed the line P9, but was handed a ten-second time penalty for the collision, dumping him to P11 and promoting Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly into the points.

It’s a decision which has left Kvyat furious, and he believes that the stewards are not sticking to their motto of allowing harder racing.

“I don’t want to say too much, because I am still very upset about it, and as a racing driver I strongly disagree with it because they told us we can race, we are allowed to race,” Kvyatis quoted by Autosport.com.

“Obviously Nico was defending, I was attacking and there was a clash, but you know, these things happen, especially [at the] last corner of the last lap.

“I think people like to see some racing, and if we get penalised for it… they just kill the sport like this, and yeah, I don’t like what stewards do sometimes.”

Hulkenberg didn’t blame Kvyat for attempting the move, but feels in future the Russian driver must be “cleaner” with his passes.

“While obviously he is guilty, I left him plenty of space, but he does give me a little push on the rear tyre and that’s all it takes to spin a car around,” Hulkenberg explained.

“It’s racing, as a racing driver he’s also obliged to try it – so I can’t really blame him, it’s just racing.

“But of course you need to try and do it cleaner without hitting each other and putting cars into the wall.”

Despite Kvyat’s disapproval of the penalty, race director Michael Masi said that the incident “could not have been more black and white”.

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Kvyat: Ready for another shot at highest level

It wasn’t that long ago that Daniil Kvyat believed his Formula 1 career was over, but now he is driving better than ever and hopes to get another chance at one of the top teams.

The past few seasons have been a rollercoaster ride for the Russian, but he now seems to finally be finding his best form.

Having made his debut as a 19-year-old for Toro Rosso in 2014, Kvyat found himself in a Red Bull seat the following season. However, three races into the 2016 season and he was back at Toro Rosso.

After nearly two full seasons with the Faenza-based squad, he suddenly found himself on the sidelines as he was dropped by Toro Rosso and also lost his place in the Red Bull development programme.

“My career evolved quickly,” he told the official Formula 1 website. “I’ve had no time. I had to skip a few little steps. It wasn’t a bad thing. Even last year, when I wasn’t racing, I wanted to get back racing. But sometimes, you need to take a little step back to go forward in the future.”

He spent the 2018 seasons as the Ferrari development driver and it did him wonders on and off the track, but he soon found himself back on the race grid as Toro Rosso came calling.

And the 2019 season has gone well so far as he has picked up 33 points and claimed the team’s only podium of the season at a chaotic German Grand Prix.

Needless to say, Kvyat is enjoying his racing again.

“This year, I’ve been driving almost all year at my peak, driving better than ever and using my potential,” he said. “It’s really enjoyable. That’s what makes me enjoy the sport so much and, of course, when the results come with it, it makes you enjoy it even more. So, it’s really good. It has been a good season so far, many points scored and a podium for a team that hasn’t had one for 11 years. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

He added: “My career was over in my mind at some point last year and it was great to get another opportunity from Red Bull. They believed in me again and they offered me this chance to show that I learned from all the crises of the past and now I’m doing a better job.”

His excellent performances have seen him mentioned as a possible team-mate for Max Verstappen at Red Bull next year.

Although Red Bull’s bosses have indicated that it’s a toss up between Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly.

For now, Kvyat knows it’s about being patient.

“I have no particular plan, especially with Red Bull – it’s hard to have a particular plan,” he says. “Everything is quite open. I need to keep doing the job I’m doing. They said that they were happy with my year so far and just asked me to keep doing this job. They asked me to try to get the highest position possible for this team and then they will see where things will be.

“Whatever way it will go, I need to have patience. I need to accept that sometimes it might take time to get a chance at the highest level. But now I know that whenever the opportunity will come at the highest level, I’m ready. I’m more ready than ever.”

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FIA open to helmet rule change after Kvyat row

The FIA will review its helmet design regulations in the wake of the Daniil Kvyat controversy at the Russian Grand Prix.

Toro Rosso racer Kvyat wanted to use a special livery at his home race over the weekend with the one-off design reflecting the colours of the Russian flag.

However, current regulations state that a driver is only permitted one design change per season and Kvyat had already used his “joker” at the Italian GP.

The Russian was not happy with the decision that he couldn’t run the special design, describing it as “a joke – but anyway, the rule is a rule” while others suggested he was picked on as Max Verstappen has used several different designs in recent races.

FIA race director Michael Masi, though, has dismissed those allegations.

“I don’t think that Kvyat was picked out. The question was asked, if the helmet design is substantially similar, and the response was ‘no it’s not’,” Masi told Crash.net.

However, the debacle in Sochi could well lead to a change in the regulations.

“I said to the drivers on Friday night that yes, it’s something we will look at, but there are a number of inputs. It is not just the FIA, it’s the F1 Group, we’ve also got broadcast media,” he said.

“It’s funny talking to some of the commentators about it. They said the reason why it was there was because of us, when we’re looking down, we know who is in the car. If we’ve got someone changing helmets all the time, we’ve actually got to think and look twice on who it is when we’re doing the live television broadcast.

“There were various reasons why it was brought in, and it’s one of those we’ve already spoken about, we discussed it on Friday night, and said let’s have a look at it.

“It would require a regulation change, is the simple part. There is your one joker per year that you’re allowed, and when the question is asked, the response is relatively black and white.”

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