- Toro Rosso
Kvyat undaunted by step up to F1
Toro Rosso's 2014 rookie Daniil Kvyat is confident he will have no problem adapting to a Formula One car after a season racing in GP3.
Kvyat will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next year after impressing Red Bull's bosses, but will skip over the season drivers usually spend in GP2 or Formula Renault 3.5 to prepare for F1.
Valtteri Bottas is the last driver to make the step straight from GP3 to Formula One but had a season driving Friday morning practice sessions in between. Kvyat, just 19 years old, drove two Friday practice sessions for Toro Rosso at the end of the year to add to his private test in a two-year-old car at Misano and his brief outing at this year's Young Driver Test.
Asked if he felt overwhelmed by the step from GP3 to F1, he said: "Not at all. If Red Bull trusts in me then it's okay. To be honest I feel quite confident and comfortable in the car. A Formula Renault 3.5 car felt more or less just like a GP3 car with more downforce, so GP3 was a good school, Formula 3 was a good school."
However, F1 will see new V6 turbo cars next year with more torque, which some of the more experienced drivers have said will be difficult to control. Nevertheless, Kvyat, who has driven the new car in the simulator, is not fazed.
"We did a few first [in the simulator] runs, but it's not a complete model yet," he said. "Some running has been done so it's a bit different and there is a lot of work ahead. I drove a turbo car just once during GP3 [testing in 2012] at Estoril and there was not that much difference to be honest. You get used to it quite quickly - all the torque and all the turbo - and if you are a good driver you will get used to it."
Kvyat said he would also spend the winter bulking out muscle to ensure he is fully prepared for his debut season.
"We will try to do some simulator work, of course, some physical work to try to improve as much as possible. Even though I didn't have big issues in Austin or Brazil, there is always room for improvement and I need to put on some muscle, but not too much because I'm quite tall and I cannot be going too hard because for me it's much easier to put the weight on. We need an optimum weight and not too much.
"I need to improve a little bit endurance and strength, but endurance mainly is what I need. But there's no magic, no big steps, just the usual preparation I have been doing for all my seasons."