D​aniil Kvyat: F1's comeback kid?

12w ago


T​he rise.

H​e started as the next big driver, Redbull's wunderkind. Then it went downhill, but how? His career started, like most drivers, in go-karting. He finished third in the KF3 Euro championships, then second in the WSK International championship. He was then signed to Formula BMW, and thus he began his career in single-seater racing. In 2010, he came 10th in the Euro championship, and began the pacific championship, where he stood on the podium 5 times out of 8 races, in which 2 of the podiums were wins. Later, he joined Formula Renault 2.0, where he competed in the North European Championship, and the Eurocup. He went on to win 3 straight races at Monza, and one more win before the North European season ended.

2​012 was even better, as Daniil took 14 wins in Formula Renault. Once again he competed in the Eurocup, but rather than another season in the North European Championship, he entered the Alps series, where he won the championship with ease. 2013 saw Daniil enter GP3 (Now known as Formula 3) where he won the 2013 title. In 2014, he made the big jump to Scuderia Toro Rosso, and began his F1 career. By 2015 he was in one of the top teams, Redbull Racing. He had success at Redbull, outperforming his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo. Many believed Daniil was going to be a star. He was outperforming his car and his teammate. That is the first sign of a future champion.

T​he Fall.

D​aniil had a rough start to 2016, with a DNS (Did not start) at Melbourne, but it was quickly looking up, as Kvyat came 7th in Bahrain, and then scored a podium in China. Further down the grid though, was the young star, and Redbull junior driver, Max Verstappen. Verstappen was lighting up the midfield, and it was clear that he was something special. This was a problem for Kvyat. Because of Daniil's results in the season compared to Ricciardo's, it was pretty clear who was losing their seat. That being said, Redbull couldn't give Kvyat the axe purely because of one seventh place finish. It would put a bad name on the team. In all fairness, Kvyat had finished in front of Ricciardo in 2015. Redbull needed an excuse. Daniil ended up giving it to them.

I​t was the Russian Grand Prix, Kvyat's home race. Perhaps it was the pressure of it being his home race, and the fact that he knew he had to do well to keep his seat, but either way, it was a disaster. In the first lap of the race, Daniil lunged into the back of Sebastien Vettel, albeit, in doing so he got F1's best nickname, the Torpedo, but he never recovered. He finished the race 15th, and in doing so, he ended his career at Redbull. He was demoted to Toro Rosso as Max Verstappen replaced him, and he never recovered. After the Russian GP, Kvyat picked up just 4 points, while teammate Carlos Saint picked up about 10 times that. 2017 was no different. Daniil's spirits were low, his confidence shattered, and it showed through in his driving. With just 4 points to his name, Kvyat was dropped from Toro Rosso after the Singapore GP. He returned for the US Grand Prix, but, once again, was axed right after. It was the end of his career, but most importantly, it was a missed opportunity. Or was it?

T​he Resurgence.

F​errari briefly signed Kvyat as their development driver, but when Daniel Ricciardo made his shock switch to Renault, he switched up the whole driver market. Redbull took Pierre Gasly, and Toro Rosso ended up firing Brendon Hartley. This left Toro Rosso with no drivers. They signed Alexander Albon from Formula 2, but needed another driver. Daniil Kvyat. He is back racing with Toro Rosso for 2019, and according to the team, he is refreshed and better than ever. That being said, the Paddock seems to be split on whether this was the right move, and whether Daniil has truly recovered. What do you think?