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F1 Driver of the Year 2015: 6th - Daniil Kvyat

We continue the 2015 F1 Driver of the Year countdown with the driver who turned his season around to claim a maiden podium and defeat his team-mate.
6th – Daniil Kvyat
Average poll score out of ten: 6.5
Team: Red Bull Racing
Car: Red Bull Renault RB11
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Best Finish 2nd
Championship points: 95
Championship position: 7th out of 21

Though Max Verstappen may have redefined what it means to be 'inexperienced' in F1, he wasn't the only Red Bull backed driver to be dragged into a harsher spotlight in 2015.

Indeed, Verstappen's predecessor at Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat, is still what you would consider wet behind the ears in F1 terms and even more so when you consider he was jumping straight into a premier seat in the Red Bull 'A Team'

After all, while Kvyat showed flashes of great potential in 2014, it was admittedly interspersed by fluctuating form and an inconsistent car. As such, Red Bull's decision to put him in Vettel's sizeable shoes was arguably as bold as what was happening in the sister team.

Though you would be hard pressed to tell by Kvyat's typically unflustered nature, a few races into the season had a few begging the question of whether it was a promotion too soon as clumsy errors were exacerbated by the unwieldy nature of the Renault-powered RB11.

A tough environment in which to develop, Kvyat nonetheless soon began to find his feet and – spurred on by a confident run to fourth in Monaco – swiftly tuned his season around.

Indeed, despite a disparity in their fortunes initially, Kvyat and race winning team-mate Daniel Ricciardo were largely comparable in terms of pace, albeit in very different ways.

While Ricciardo's sheer ability to hustle the car garnered more TV time, Kvyat's smoother driving style – particularly in the wet - flourished as the RB11 evolved, allowing him to turn in a few strategically savvy results by the season's end. In all, he missed the top ten in just four of the 18 races he started.

Of those performances, his second place finish in a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix will be jotted down as the landmark maiden podium, but it was his drive to fourth in Belgium – after a late tyre change saw him charge up the order in the final laps – that arguably ranks as his best, while he would have been third at the unforgiving Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez had a late safety car not allowed the fresher shod Valtteri Bottas to nab it from him.

Though both drivers play it down, Kvyat finishing ahead of Daniel Ricciardo was a just reward for his efforts at getting on top of his early troubles when he could have so easily squandered his chance. Instead, Kvyat simply serves to yet again demonstrate Red Bull's keen eye when it comes to spotting and nurturing talent.

Better still, of all the drivers in top seats at the moment, Kvyat surely has the most still to come…

Daniil Kvyat in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2014: 9th

Do you agree with the poll results? Have your say in the comments section below...

About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Drivers' World Championship standings, the F1 Driver of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, driving style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.

Over 120,000 votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of this year's full-time participants.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
26.03.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
26.03.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
26.03.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
26.03.2017 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
26.03.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
26.03.2017 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
26.03.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
26.03.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
26.03.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
26.03.2017 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
26.03.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13

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loltron

December 18, 2015 11:06 AM

give it a break richard, you take most of my comments out of context and assume too much, this record is getting booooring. why bother mentioning it? for the people that are supposedly so mature you sure like to dig up stuff first. hope he gets the chance next year to show his capability, cant draw too much from this year as they both (RBR) had some races where they destroyed one another but various gremlins skew the results and give a distorted view of the year overall. zzzzzzzzz bring on 2016.

Hypoc

December 18, 2015 2:18 PM

Tomco: Fully deserved 5th in my opinion. So who am i missing from Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen , Vettel ?
Jorda, who else? Wouldn't be surprised if she get's #1 and it would be well deserved. But it is probably Perez at #5.



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