If Kvyat was the opportunist that was accused in the wrong last time out in China this time he admitted to the “messiest” first lap of his career.
What started with Red Bull looking to secure solid points at Sochi was over almost immediately. Through no fault of his own Daniel Ricciardo’s race was destroyed as he was forced to pit after being the innocent victim of Daniil Kvyat collecting Sebastian Vettel on the first of two impacts in two corners.
Kyvat locked up his rears on the approach to turn 2, collecting the rear of Vettel’s Ferrari and carrying them into the side of Ricciardo. The incident would damage all three cars and was something neither Red Bull would recover from. It got even worse for the Ferrari man. Catching the punctured Force India of Sergio Perez, Vettel seemed to hesitate. Kyvat again struck him from behind. This time it was game over, as the German spun out into the barriers on the outside.
It was two corners that the Red Bull team never recovered from. A switch to mediums failed to reap any benefits as the tyres didn’t seem to work well on the Sochi track. Ricciardo deciding to change to soft tyres. The resulting switch saw Daniel recover from 14th to 11th, aided by Max Verstappen’s retirement and a Carlos Sainz time penalty.
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 11th, Start Position: 6th
“It’s frustrating and a shame to be out of the race more or less from the first lap onwards but I think these things happen with racing. After the start I felt a big hit. I saw Seb come into me but it looked like he got hit as well. We had a lot of damage and had to pit. We thought we’d try the mediums but that wasn’t really working. Unfortunately the damage was so much that we didn’t really learn anything from today’s race and we don’t know what our pace was. Barcelona and Monaco should be better, so we have a few races to be excited about.”
DANIIL KVYAT, Finish Position: 15th Start Position: 8th
“There was a lot going on at the start and I didn’t expect to slow down as much, I locked the rear wheels and the car was a bit out of control which caused the contact with Sebastian. On Turn 3, I couldn’t see what was happening ahead, Sebastian seemed to slow down and unfortunately I didn’t have time to react and this caused the second contact. I’m sorry for Sebastian and also to the team as we gave away a lot of points today from both my side and Daniel’s. It doesn’t feel great, this is probably the messiest first lap of my career.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Unfortunately our race concluded at Turn One for both our drivers. It looked like Dany misjudged his braking and hit the rear of Sebastian’s car who in turn hit Daniel causing significant damage to both our cars. This lead to a double pit stop for new front wings. From there Daniel did what he could with the damage to his car to finish in 11th and Dany in 15th. It has been a frustrating day for the team as obviously we gave away a lot of points. Dany hasn’t been involved in an incident like this before and I am sure he will learn from it. Apologies to Sebastian as well, it’s not the race any of us wanted.”