As he begins his fourth season in F1, Crash.net sits down with Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat to get to know the Russian driver a little better both on and off the track...

Read on to get his opinion on his team-mate Carlos Sainz, the man he credits with igniting his love for F1 and which rival driver he can defeat on the tennis court...

Hi Daniil
Hi there

Crash.net
We want readers to get to know you a little better, but let's start with the here and now - tell me about your feelings coming into 2017

Daniil Kvyat
Excited about it always. Interesting, curious... I would use these kinds of words. It's a lot of work. I'm a driver who has a lot of experience already and the team is relying on me, but it's a nice feeling.

Crash.net
The new breed of F1 car

DK:
It's a different animal. It's much faster. It requires proper pushing!

Crash.net
In a word...?

DK:
Spaceship!

Crash.net
F1 today vs 2014 (Race debut)

DK:
There's a lot going on, no. Bernie stepped out, now we have new owners. But I feel like, I feel like still everything is rotating around Formula 1. It hasn't changed much.

Crash.net
The Daniil Kvyat of today vs. the Daniil Kvyat of 2014

DK:
I'm only 22 but I have already seen three eras of F1. Exciting to realise that, but it's quite a good feeling, I must say.

Crash.net
Have you changed your mentality?

DK:
It's hard to say... of course there are many things that I would probably do different now, but I still have a good chance to make it in a way that I can say that actually everything that has been done was meant to be. I hope that's something that I can say to myself in a couple of years' time.

Crash.net
The emotion of an F1 podium

DK:
It's a massive feeling of relief... One thing for sure that I learn is you shouldn't get carried away by it. It's a moment, it's a big cool moment you have to enjoy.

Crash.net
Tell me more about the Toro Rosso 'family'

DK:
It's a family for sure! I'm able to feel quite comfortable with all the senior people in this team which is something that I like. I like to do a few jokes and in this team everyone is listening and laughing.

Crash.net
I've heard you are quite the joker...

DK:
Yeah, even pranks! When it's the moment to work, everyone works, but sometimes I think you have a time to relax and chill a bit. Everyone is a very hard worker at Toro Rosso, it's a very talented team

Crash.net
Does Red Bull like a joke too

DK:
I was there in the times when no-one really liked to joke... I think *pauses* I'll skip this question, haha

Crash.net
Helmut Marko

DK:
He is more relaxed. He's a bit more relaxed than when I was there. So, good for him!

Crash.net
Christian Horner

DK:
I'm very happy to see him in good spirits. Shame we never really got to a level of 100 per cent confidence [at Red Bull], but it wasn't an easy time for Red Bull Racing. I like all of them, they are very nice people for sure.

Crash.net
Carlos Sainz

DK:
We are team-mates. Very good team-mates. Of course, there is no space for friendship. We know each other so well, it might look to people that we are friends, but it's not like that, we're just comfortable with each other. But once we put the helmet on right everyone wants to be very competitive. It's normal and I think that's what makes us good team-mates also because we like to push each other and over the years we're learning how to do it without upsetting each other.

Crash.net
Max Verstappen

DK:
*pauses... then smiles* Well, what er... my opinion? Nothing. I'm not sure.

Crash.net
Having to live in Milton Keynes...

DK:
*laughs*
For young athletes, it's the perfect place to live. There are not too many distractions. There's enough around for training, the supermarket and there was my team simulator, everything... I was looking for an ideal life, but it doesn't exist. It's no ideal life in Milton Keynes!

Crash.net
Ufa (Daniil's home city in Russia)

DK:
I haven't been there for a while! I guess all my grandparents are there, my cousins, so still it's something that reminds me of old times. I still think I can remember every street and every corner. Not much has changed.

Crash.net
Your home

DK:
I'm very happy now where I am in Monaco. Once again, it's a bit like Milton Keynes... but nicer (laughs). Because I'm not a person who loves to go around too much. I have my flat, my supermarket is next to me, my gym next to me and the seaside next to me there, plus all the restaurants if I need to. I'm very comfortable, I can walk everywhere. I love that place, you know. I'm there with my girlfriend and everything's perfect.

Crash.net
Do you bump into other drivers when out and about?

DK:
Yes, sometimes. Some of them go to the same gym. Me and Nico Hulkenberg see each other sometimes. I even play tennis with Nico. I won last time we played. He's really looking for revenge! I think he's been training really hard, and he's calling me all the time, 'when is my revenge?'.

Crash.net
How quick is your 10k running time?

DK:
I think it was 40mins. Maybe faster... It's about 30/40 seconds faster.

Crash.net
Your family

DK:
They are, for me, the best people in the world, because it's my family as it should be for everyone in an ideal world. My father has been there through the good and the hard times. My mum also always there, we're always in touch and the more I grow up, the more I appreciate them. My grandparents are in Russia. I also wish I could spend more time with them, but that's part of life.

Crash.net
Your fans

DK:
I appreciate a lot their support and everything. Of course, they are, I think supporters in this fragile world of Formula 1. We all do this for the audience in the end, no? It's a very important part of it.

Crash.net
Racing heroes?

DK:
Michael Schumacher, definitely. I was inspired by his red car, you know, going through all his rivals and winning everything. I think I started to watch first F1 in 2003 and then I watched the full 2004 season, and the way he was winning and dominating everyone, he looked like a god. For a child like me it was something,. 'Wow, this guy is amazing'. When I was a bit older and racing, I think Robert Kubica was standing out to me. I really like him. I think he was very unfortunate, he was a a potential world champion. I also met him in person and he's a fantastic guy.

Crash.net
Does Robert know he is one of your heroes?

DK:
I haven't had a chance to talk to him after this crash... I think for a normal reasons he became more distant from everyone I guess...but I respect that. I think that if I see him again for sure, I want to shake his hand and talk to him.

Crash.net
Earliest memory of F1

DK:
Ah well, I was watching I think 2004 Australian Grand Prix. We were leaving very early airport somewhere and on the breakfast channel it was. My father never watched and didn't know what is F1. My father didn't even know what this car thing is. Then I was watching and I was like, 'ooh I want to watch the next race and the next race'. So I reading the TV guides just to see when's the next race. Even my father was saying, come on, Schumacher is going to win anyway, so...

Crash.net
Is that when you knew you wanted to be a driver?

DK:
I really liked F1. I think I hadn't even tried karting for the first time yet. But then we saw a karting track on the way to my school and then I said to my father I wanted to go. After the school he picked me up, took me there and I understood that that's what I wanted to do. And it was no questions anymore about my future.

Crash.net
We know you watch Game of Thrones...

DK:
A new series is coming, no? I like to watch a few - I'm watching Prison Break now and OA.

Crash.net
How do you spend your weekends off?

DK:
You know, a day off for training, it never really exists but if we do get a day we call it 'my girlfriend day'. We dedicate some time, a full day, just for her. She chooses what to do... shopping centre, coffee bars, seaside.

Crash.net
What were your last 5 emojis?

DK:
Crying face, laughing face, hamster, thumbs up, rabbit, sad face...

Crash.net
What were they for?

DK:
Can't say! *laughs*

Crash.net
Very well, thanks for your time... good luck for the season!

DK:
Thanks!