Will Kvyat ever recover from public humiliation? F1 drivers weigh in

Sharon Wong

No one in Formula 1 wants to be Daniil Kvyat right now. The 22-year old Russian practically took a lit match to his own career by crashing into Sebastian Vettel twice at the Russian Grand Prix, earning himself an expletive-laden rant from Vettel and a public shafting at the hands of Red Bull Racing. Obviously not the best moment for any driver, but it seems like other pros don’t think it’s the end of the world for him.

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

For instance, Force India’s Sergio Perez is quite the veteran of surviving such scenarios, as once built his reputation on being dumped by McLaren after a single season in 2013. He certainly thinks Kvyat can manage. But he’s not saying it will be a cakewalk.

“It’s obviously very hard to do that. It was the same with me when McLaren dropped me. People suddenly stopped believing in me.

“People in F1 have very short memories. They won’t remember his podiums or the great momentum he had at Toro Rosso, or why they chose him in the first place. They won’t remember that, they will just remember that he didn’t perform and they dropped him.

“If he has to deliver results, he can rebuild his reputation. If he’s not with Red Bull, he might find another alternative in the future.

Sergio Perez

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

The esteemed Felipe Massa is also no stranger to this sort of trial by public opinion himself, having been demoted to test driver after his 2002 contract with Sauber ended directly after his debut. He’s all about encouraging that unwavering self-belief despite all the adversity.

“In Formula 1, it’s difficult to have a chance, so when you have one chance, you need to prove yourself.

“I did a good championship on my first year. I had one fifth [place], two sixths and lots of sevenths, which had no points at that time, so I did a good championship. I crashed a lot and Peter Sauber didn’t like to see his car in the wall! I don’t know why I lost my drive in the first year.

“The second chance in F1 is even more difficult. But it can happen – like it happened for me, for Fernando [Alonso], maybe Mika Hakkinen. You need to believe.”

It seems the takeaway is that botching a few racesĀ is not a career-ending move, no matter how many people are watching.

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