Daniil Kvyat labels Sebastian Vettel ‘professional screamer’ after ‘torpedo’ taunt

Henry Valantine
Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat on the podium. China 2016.

Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat on the podium. China 2016.

Former Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat has branded Sebastian Vettel a “professional screamer” in response to him being called a “torpedo” when the two almost clashed in China back in 2016.

Vettel and Kvyat almost came to blows at the start in Shanghai seven years ago when Vettel, then at Ferrari, took avoiding action at Turn 1 when Kvyat sent his Red Bull up the inside to try and pass.

This move shocked Vettel and he subsequently made contact with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in moving out of his way, with the German taking to the radio to complain, saying at the time: “Contact, I had no chance to avoid – I had the Red Bull coming up the inside like a mad man and I hit Kimi.”

Both drivers were able to keep going in the race and both eventually finished on the podium, Vettel taking second behind Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and Kvyat finishing third, but this led to tense scenes in the cooldown room before the drivers went to collect their trophies.

Vettel confronted the Red Bull driver about his move at the start, saying: “You came like a torpedo!”

Kvyat responded with a chuckle and said: “I was racing”, but Vettel retorted: “Yeah, racing, but if I keep going the same line, we’ll crash.”

The conversation continued before the Russian signed off with: “But we didn’t crash.”

Vettel’s final response was short and sharp: “Yeah, you didn’t…”

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That back-and-forth ended up becoming a viral moment in recent Formula 1 history as cameras began heading into the pre-podium rooms after races finish, and Kvyat, now racing in multiple different series including NASCAR and the World Endurance Championship, was asked about that particular moment while appearing on the Track Limits podcast.

“At that time, I didn’t think much of it, to be honest – because it didn’t mean much to me,” Kvyat said of his ‘torpedo’ nickname.

“Of course, the people, they are really easy to pick up [on trends], we had a discussion I think in the podium room.”

But when asked about what he would nickname Vettel in response, he replied with a smile: “A professional screamer or something like that, I don’t know…

“He likes to scream a lot on the radio, I think. Of course he is calmer [now] but when things were high stakes, he was screaming a lot!”