After Ted Kravitz posted a picture of a Dacia car on Twitter I asked him half-jokingly when will he come to Romania. I was surprised when he answered that he is actually here and although we didn’t manage to meet in person, I asked him some questions.
We all know Ted from his role as a funny and smart reporter from Sky F1’s broadcasting of F1. But how did he land this job, what does he think about the current affairs going on in the sport and, most importantly, who is his favourite driver? Find out bellow.
Dan Dracea: Who is the man behind the Ted Kravitz we see on TV?
Ted Kravitz: I'm just a fan! A fan whose passion has always been motor sport and Formula 1. As a kid I would think, eat, drink, sleep and breathe F1 and the drivers, characters and teams. And now I work in F1, I'm not so different. So I ask the questions I'd like to ask as a fan.
DD: How did you get into covering F1? Is it your dream job?
TK: I started as a radio reporter covering news and sport in London and never thought I'd get the chance to work in F1. But when the British commercial TV station ITV took over from the BBC in 1996, I managed to get a job as a researcher. I progressed through to being a producer before moving into the pit lane reporter's role when Murray Walker retired at the end of 2001. I guess it is a dream job!
DD: What do you think you would have been doing as a career if you were not covering F1?
TK: I would either be a TV producer, behind the camera or a TV or radio journalist or presenter. Or I would have trained to be an airline pilot!
DD: What would you say are your best and worst moments experienced as a journalist at a GP?
TK: The best moments are when there is a big story, like the USA GP in 2005 when all the Michelin-tyre teams had to pull out of the race, and we were in the middle of it, covering the story live. Any big chaos or disqualification is always a big story and so is very enjoyable to cover. Unfortunately the big stories are sometimes also the worst moments, like the Japanese GP last year when Jules Bianchi had his accident.
DD: Are there any other sports you like, or follow, or practice?
TK: I play Hockey when I can, I like swimming with my kids and watching any Olympic sport, winter or summer.
DD: Moving on to F1, what's your opinion on the following? Closed cockpits. Are they worth it? Can you see it happening?
TK: I can see some sort of head protection happening but I don't know if it will be a closed cockpit. Whatever is changed needs to be the right thing that could have prevented all the injuries to Justin Wilson, Jules Bianchi, Dan Wheldon, Maria De Villota, Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa... Otherwise you could change F1 for no good reason.
DD: Manor having Mercedes-Benz engines next year. Can this revive the team?
TK: Sure! Most of the back end of their car will be made by Williams, too, so that will be a very exciting team to watch next year.
DD: Button staying at McLaren next year (or even more). Is this a good deal for both sides?
TK: It is, because Jenson is still quick enough and he is a good communicator who can help McLaren and more importantly, Honda, improve.
DD: McLaren's pressure to improve next year. Will Honda deliver or can the team even become a backmarker if Manor step it up?
TK: That's a very real possibility, I'm afraid. It's an engine formula at the moment so Manor Mercedes and Haas Ferrari could both be ahead of McLaren Honda. I'm yet to be convinced that Honda can deliver in the short term.
DD: The situation at Red Bull. Will they really call time if they won't get Ferrari engines?
TK: Yes, because the big man co-owner of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz has fallen out of love with F1 and is happy to leave if his cars are not winning. So let's hope they do get good Ferrari engines!
DD: How will Haas integrate among the current F1 teams? Can you see them competing for points? Grosjean seems like a big coup for them.
TK: Romain Grosjean is a massive signing for Haas F1, he's very quick and can help the team find the shortcuts to success. But it takes a new team at least 3 years to get going (look at Marussia / Caterham / HRT) so it will be tough at first.
DD: Do you see Mercedes dominating next year too, or will Ferrari and Red Bull (or others) make it even more difficult for them?
TK: 2016 should be the biggest fight Mercedes have had since the new engines came in, back in 2014. I really believe Ferrari will be as strong as Mercedes so the title will be fought between Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel. It will be good to see another team challenge Mercedes' dominance - as for Red Bull, who knows?!
DD: Hamilton is a huge favourite to win this season, so let's suppose he does. Do you think he is the most talented driver on the current grid? Who do you see the best in terms of raw speed, disregarding the car driven? And do you have a favourite driver, personally?
TK: It's so difficult to know who is the fastest or most talented driver - Hamilton is definitely one of them, and he's in the best car at the moment, so that's why he's going to be World Champion. I do think Hamilton is in a top category of 3 drivers in terms of raw speed, along with Alonso and Vettel. Then there's a group behind them like Ricciardo, Rosberg, Grosjean, Hülkenberg, Bottas and Max Verstappen who are all very quick and have great futures. Button, Raikkonen and Massa are still very fast but are getting to the end of their careers. I like Kimi and his style, but I don't have a real favourite.
DD: Finally maybe you'd like to send a message to the F1 fans in Romania. I can assure you that they are quite a lot and all of them simply love your work and all of Sky F1's broadcasting.
TK: Well, I'm writing this from Otopeni Airport in Bucharest having spent a few days here I can tell that many Romanians love cars and Motorsport - especially on Highway 1 from Bucharest to Brașov! Thanks for watching what we do on Sky F1 and hopefully we'll see some of you at a race in the future. Mersi!
*** This article first appeared on PitStops.ro ***
*** Articolul poate fi citit și în limba română aici. ***