Daniil Kvyat

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat is a Formula 1 driver at Scuderia Toro Rosso. The Russian will drive for the Red Bull Racing junior side for the third time. His return took numerous people by surprise in the F1 paddock.

He has contended for a few podium finishes in his career, with a career-high of second place. He achieved his feat twice, proving to be his only podium finishes of his career so far. 

Team Scuderia Toro Rosso
Race number26

Kvyat’s Bumpy Ride

It’s not been an easy road to where he is now for Kvyat. The Russian began karting at just eight years old. In 2010, Kvyat switched to car racing – in the Formula BMW championships to be more specific. He moved to New Zealand to compete in the Toyota Racing Series, but then returned to Europe to challenge in Formula Renault 2.0.

Carlos Sainz Jr. of McLaren just pipped him to a dream debut season, with the Russian driver finishing in second place. However, the season after, he claimed his first Formula Renault 2.0 title. Kvyat then went onto target the Eurocup, but agonisingly missed out in the last round at the Circuit de Catalunya after a drive-through penalty was handed to him for changing his tyres too late.

Kvyat, who was backed by Red Bull, was confirmed as the Toro Rosso driver for the 2014 season, but he still had to finish the GP3 series. The Russian managed to claim the GP3 title, beating Facu Ragalia to the crown.

Toro Rosso Time

After being announced as Toro Rosso’s driver for the 2014 season, back in October 2013, the driver would be participating in his rookie season in Formula One. The Russian would be driving alongside Jean-Eric Vergne, after replacing Daniel Ricciardo, who earned promotion to Red Bull following his form.

Aged just 19, Kvyat made his F1 debut in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. Kvyat impressed in his rookie race, finishing ninth after originally qualifying in 10th. In the process, Kvyat broke Sebastian Vettel’s record of the youngest-ever points-scorer in Formula 1. Kvyat also went onto secure more points finishes that season and his form earned him a brilliant reward.

Vettel was on his way to Ferrari for the 2015 season, so Red Bull promoted Kvyat to their side, following his impressive maiden season in the competition. His team-mate would be former Toro Rosso man Ricciardo.

Kvyat secured his first-ever podium finish in Hungary, finishing in second place – and achieving another record. He recorded the highest ever F1 finish by a Russian driver. It was a mixed first season at Red Bull for Kvyat, completing the campaign in seventh, but managed to trump Ricciardo by three points.

However, it was a challenging start for Kvyat in the 2016 season, and the team managers decided to demote the 21-year-old (at the time) back to the Toro Rosso set-up. Kvyat collided with Vettel in Sochi, and the team had seen enough.

Demotion from the top team

Max Verstappen was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull to replace Kvyat from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards. His new team-mate at Toro Rosso would be Sainz Jr. But his season was a challenging one – with many technical difficulties forcing retirements for the Russian.

In September 2017, Kvyat was confirmed to be replaced by Pierre Gasly, who nowadays drives for Red Bull. However, Red Bull released a statement confirming Kvyat would still “be part of the Red Bull family”.

In October of the same year, Williams admitted its interest in snapping up the talented Russian driver – but his next move would be to Scuderia Ferrari. The Italian side signed Kvyat as a development driver for the 2018 season. He only drove the Ferrari once during a wet weather test in Fiorano in April 2018.

Toro Rosso came calling once more for Kvyat and following Gasly’s move and Brendon Hartley’s underwhelming season not good enough to maintain his seat; the Russian is back. His new team-mate will be Thai driver Alexander Albon.

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