WFO Radio gets ready for the U.S. Grand Prix. Check out what Red Bull Drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have to say about ‘Coming to America’ for back to back races.
Q1: So Daniel, what turns you into the head cheerleader for the United States Grand Prix? What do you like about Austin?
Ricciardo: Everything! I love Austin. Great track, great city, great food, great fans, great people in general, great hotel. Basically, great.
Q2: Start with the track: What do you particularly enjoy about the Circuit of The Americas?
Ricciardo: For a modern-day circuit with lots of runoff, they’ve done the best job possible. They’ve created a track that’s safe, but managed to ensure it’s still fun. It’s probably the best overtaking circuit on the calendar.
Q3: And after a hard day of overtaking, what’s on the agenda in the city?
Ricciardo: Well, I love live music and I love bars, and I particularly love live music in bars – and as that’s what Austin’s all about. It’s the sort of culture I can really appreciate. I’ll also enjoy some beef – definitely the city to visit if you like ribs or brisket. Amazing stuff.
Q4: But you stay out in the countryside. Where the snakes are…
That’s right. We stay out in a hotel on a ranch – which is pretty awesome. There’s a river, a golf course, and yes, the occasional snake. The snakes are OK though. They’re pretty cool. They’re not like Aussie snakes.
Q5: They’re more scared of you than you are of them, particularly if you’ve got your beard on. Are you planning whiskers again this year?
Ricciardo: I’ll probably do something – but no promises. Don’t want to put pressure on myself.
Q6: On to Mexcio: By virtue of a show car run a couple of months ago, you’re one of the few drivers able to tell us what the new Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is like.
Ricciardo: Well, I’ve only driven around the parts of the track that were finished in July, so I’m not the authority on it. The very long main straight reminded me a little of Monza. And there are some flowing parts of the track, which look quite interesting, but you can never tell until you drive a new circuit properly. It could go either way. I hope it’s fun.
Q7: And how about Mexico City. Did you get to sample some of that?
Ricciardo: I did, and it was very cool. I love the food – I say that a lot don’t I? – and I love the passion of the people. It was quite a moment when we saw how many had turned up to watch us back in the summer. It really makes you do a double-take. I’m looking forward to spending more time there just so I can experience a bit more of the culture.
Q8: And finally, the big question that’s dividing the paddock: Back to Europe after Mexico, or staying out to muck around in the Americas?
Ricciardo: Stay out. I’m keeping my options open though. Thinking about maybe Miami because I’ve never been – and then there’s the Texas 500 the following weekend. Might go up to Fort Worth to watch me some NASCAR!
Q1: COTA is of course the circuit at which you made your grand prix weekend debut in 2013 for Toro Rosso. Is it a place of good memories for you?
Kvyat: Definitely. As you say, I made my F1 debut there and that was a big moment in my career. The race last year was, I would say, unlucky in that we had really good pace, but I had to pit for a vibration with the tire after overtaking Kimi. But yes, I have very positive memories of the circuit.
Q2: The circuit is a bit of an F1 “best of,” with sections influenced by classic sequences from a number of tracks. That could lead to either beauty or beast. Which is it?
Kvyat: The first one. I really like racing at COTA; the track is really good. It has a lot of high-speed corners, heavy braking, long straights, a bit of everything really – so it’s great for racing, very enjoyable. Sector One is exciting. There are a lot of high-speed changes of direction. It’s kind of like Maggots-Becketts at Silverstone, and it feels great through there in an F1 car. The circuit also has a lot of changes of elevation, which is something I think every driver appreciates. It’s a good track.
Q3: What about the city? Is it a similarly entertaining experience?
Kvyat: Yes, I like it there. It’s a really good atmosphere. Great food. America does feel different to race in. It’s got its own style, which I like.
Q4: Your teammate seems to really get into the wild west vibe. Is it the same for you?
Kvyat: Maybe not quite as enthusiastically as Daniel – that would be hard! But I like it, yeah. It’s Texas. It’s cowboy country, and it’s good fun.
Q5: Mexico City is unknown territory for everyone in F1. Is the prospect of racing in a new venue something you enjoy?
Kvyat: Definitely. It’s always nice to visit a new place and to race at a new track. Mexico should be no different. The city looks nice – interesting culture and the food should be very good too.
Q6: What are you expecting from the circuit?
Kvyat: It’s hard to say. On paper it looks interesting. It looks like there are some good high-speed corners and the esses section looks like it might be quite exciting. It obviously has a lot of history, and they seem to have kept the old-school feel of it, which is good.
Q7: Judging by the show car run the team did in June in Mexico City, it looks like the atmosphere will be tremendous. Looking forward to some Latin mayhem?
Kvyat: I think Mexico has a pretty big heritage with Formula One, and it seems like it’s one of those places that is really passionate about the sport – maybe a bit like Brazil. It should be a good weekend.