Back in the Swing

The thing about Formula One drivers is that even in the off-season, they’re always racing about somewhere, doing something. It’s certainly the case for our Dany, not content to sit on a sunny beach and chill for longer than about five minutes, or relax on the sofa with a few box sets. The off-season generally makes the rest of us look, let’s be honest, a little bit lazy.

So with so much going on ahead of the new campaign, we caught up with Dany Kvyat to find out what he's been up to since the season finale in Abu Dhabi last year.

We haven't heard much from you since Abu Dhabi. What have you been up to?
After Abu Dhabi we had some work to do in the factory. I spent Christmas in Rome with my friends and family, then I went skiing with a group of friends in northern Italy, in the Alps. We were a bit unlucky with the snow but we still found some fun things to do. In the new year I went back to Europe, back to normal, and just focused on training. My season started quite early – mainly with training and getting back into shape, and now we've started to do some PR. Next, I'll spend some more time on training.

We're working with the engineers and the team, so the proper track preparation starts now.

We saw you working on the RB11 at the end of 2015 with your mechanics and engineers, why was that?
I've done the same thing in every team I've been in, including karting and Renault 2.0. I always like to communicate with the mechanics and my team, it helps me to understand the car more and the kind of preparation they do. I've done it a bit myself. I've always admired the work of mechanics – they are a very big part of it. I grew up with mechanics and engineers from a young age, and I like the ambience and humour.

Worst and best moments?
I only had good moments! We were a bit unlucky with the snow, like most of Europe, although the funny thing is, the day before I left it started to snow a lot, which was a pity. But I still managed to ski, see my friends and spend time with my family, who I won't see for a while once the season starts.

Any training to the extremes like last year?
No, not really. We're training in quite normal conditions because we'll never end up racing in minus 20 degrees, so it's just normal European weather plus 10 degrees or so.

Easy to get back in the swing?
I must admit, on the flight back to Europe from Abu Dhabi I was thinking, 'What will I do now?'. I've almost forgotten how to live outside of racing! It probably took me about a week to get back in the rhythm and get used to different kinds of things – different friends, different events and so on. Everything was more chilled so I chilled out. Getting back into disciplined training again was ok as it's quite ordered, but when I did the first PR day recently, I realised it was quite hard to talk, I had to get used to English again!

I grew up with mechanics and engineers from a young age, and I like the ambience and humour.

Do things kick into gear from here on in?
Yes, they do. My preparation started in the new year, mainly just getting back into the training rhythm, then from the second week of January I was back into the normal training rhythm. Now we're working with the engineers and the team, so the proper track preparation starts now.

Any team goals for 2016?
We aim to make steps forward and so as long as we see progress and make steps forward we'll be happy, but we will always aim high. We'll never be really happy until we're back on the top step of the podium but for now, let's start with small signs of progress. That would satisfy me for now.