Daniil Kvyat's anticipated debut didn't go to plan

Formula 1 veteran Daniil Kvyat's transition to NASCAR didn't quite have the storybook outcome the Russian driver was hoping for after a mechanical failure forced him to retire from Sunday's race in Indianapolis.

Kvyat's debut at the NASCAR Cup Series on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was one of the more interesting subplots bubbling under the surface ahead of the race as he became the latest in an ever-growing list of former F1 drivers to try their hand in the sometimes chaotic world of stock car racing.

Kvyat, 28, was racing for Team Hezeberg after being officially unveiled as the team's second driver just days prior, where he raced in car number 26 – the same number he was associated with throughout his tenure with Red Bull in Formula 1.

The Russian followed in the footsteps of former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve in representing the team, but he will certainly be hoping for an upturn in his luck after his maiden race lasted just 43 laps.

Kvyat's debut ends with him completing 43 laps (suspension issue ended his day)," said NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass on social media.

His retirement came around 14 laps after he was forced to return to his team's garage after complaining of battery and electrical problems.

Despite the disappointment, Kvyat will no doubt be somewhat satisfied by his very presence in NASCAR – something which comes amid a scenario where many Russian sports stars are having their rights to compete restricted by various sporting federations in light of Russia's military operation in Ukraine.

Kvyat's debut ends with him completing 43 laps (suspension issue ended his day).

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) July 31, 2022

The situation is a bit complicated as you can imagine, but I was happy to hear NASCAR shows a great example of sportsmanship,” Kvatt noted recently.

I think that’s how it should be. Sport should unite people and it’s amazing how they showed it, and it’s a great example for everyone else also back in Europe.

Read more

Kvyat is taking his racing talents Stateside. © RIA / Artur Lebedev
Russian racer gears up for NASCAR debut

I hope they will take this and make it less complicated. So I hope that’s the way it’s going to be.

I was really excited to get into the car here,” he added.

When the car started today finally in free practice, I was like ‘yes, we’re going on track finally! We go racing! This is really cool’. And so yeah, very, very excited.”

The FIA, which is the governing body of Formula 1, has permitted Russian drivers to race under a neutral flag – but Kvyat has been a noted critic of the various sanctions placed on his countrymen in the sporting realm, saying that they are “an unfair solution [which] goes against what sports teaches us in its principle – unity and peace.”

Original Article