Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat says the rule that is preventing him from using a special helmet livery design at the Russian Grand Prix is “a joke”.
Kvyat was told by the FIA that he cannot use a new white, red and blue helmet – in deference to the Russian flag – for his home race because he already used different colours at the Italian Grand Prix.
F1’s sporting regulations only allow drivers to substantially deviate from their primary helmet livery at one event each season, meaning Kvyat was denied permission to use it in Friday practice at Sochi.
Toro Rosso representatives plan to meet FIA F1 race director Michael Masi after Friday’s drivers’ briefing to discuss the matter.
Kvyat said he had not been aware of the rule and described it as “a joke”.
“It it is a good helmet,” he said. “[I] hope you saw it.
“I put it there in the garage, just to show it to everyone.
“It is a joke – but anyway, the rule is a rule.
“We just worked with my designer [Jens Munser], [on] something unusual. Russian flag theme, I guess. Just something a bit different, but simple at the same time.
“Maybe I will use it tomorrow [on Saturday]. Let’s see. I still don’t know what could be the consequences.
“But to be honest, there are bigger problems to focus [on] than a helmet design of a driver.”
That ruling could be an obstacle to team-mate Pierre Gasly’s plans to run a special helmet livery at engine supplier Honda’s home race in Japan, as Gasly previously raced an Anthoine Hubert tribute helmet at Monza (pictured above).
When informed about Kvyat’s predicament, Gasly said: “Well that’s bullshit. If that’s the case, that’s really bullshit.
“There are bigger things to worry about I think in this paddock than whether you change your helmets or not.
“Especially for [his] home race, I find it quite silly. [It’s a] shame for Dany.”