Adrenalin junkie Daniil Kvyat called the Japanese Grand Prix “boring” on Sunday after a race spent snarled up in traffic in the spare Red Bull swearing down the team radio. The Russian had been fortunate to be driving at all after wrecking his car in a hair-raising crash in Saturday’s qualifying and he started the race from the pitlane.
“It was pretty boring for me out there this afternoon, because I had to just sit back and was unable to attack,” said Kvyat, who finished 13th. “I had a completely new car, so that wasn’t easy. “We had difficulty with the tyres, the brakes and the overtake button, which made life complicated. It’s frustrating and annoying.” Australian Daniel Ricciardo came home in 15th after bumping Felipe Massa at the start, leaving team boss Christian Horner perplexed.
“Daniel made a great start, then found himself the cheese in a sandwich between Massa and (Kimi) Raikkonen, resulting in a puncture,” said Horner. “This cost him a huge amount of time and catching up was a tough task.” Ricciardo refused to allocate blame for his shredded tyre, although television replays suggested he had been over-ambitious.
“At the start, the best line for me was straight down the middle,” he said. “I saw the gap between Kimi and Felipe and I knew it was close, but I thought they would make a bit of room. “I haven’t seen the footage and don’t want to put the blame on anyone so we’ll call it a racing incident for now.” Sunday’s result represented a major step backwards for a Red Bull team, whose future in Formula One has been plunged into doubt in recent weeks.
Ricciardo finished second behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Singapore as Kvyat took sixth, but their performance was overshadowed by a threat to pull out of the sport if the Austrian team cannot secure a competitive engine next year. Kvyat turned the air blue as he looked desperately to find a way past Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, barking at Red Bull mechanics: “Can I fucking use the overtake button or not?“ Each time he pleaded to be allowed to push the magic button, he was met with a haughty “negative,” sending his frustration levels sky-rocketing.
At other points in the race, as the Russian yelped “I’m losing the brakes again … absolutely no brakes!” his race appeared anything but boring. “It was a busy afternoon for Dany,” said Horner. “It was a frustrating race for the team and our first non-scoring race of the season. But the boys in the garage did an incredible job on Dany’s car overnight.”