Another product of the Red Bull young driver programme who
has got his break with Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat is Russia’s second F1 driver, swiftly
following Vitaly Petrov’s lead.
Born in Ufa, Kvyat soon moved
to further his karting career. He shone in karts, finishing third in the KF3 European
Championships and second in the WSK International Series in 2009. From there,
it was a swift progression up the ranks towards Formula One.
In 2010 Kvyat
moved in to the Formula BMW Pacific series as a guest driver, which meant he
was ineligible for points. However, he was soon winning races and attracting
the attention of Red Bull, going on to sign as a junior driver and finishing
the year with two appearances in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series for
Kvyat then stayed
with Koiranen to compete in the Formula Renault UK Winter Series, finishing
fourth overall after podiums at Snetterton and Pembrey, as well as one pole
position. Following that experience, Kvyat was teamed with fellow Red Bull
young driver Carlos Sainz Jr. for a full season of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
as well as the Northern European Cup.
The pairing was
a strong one in the series but it was Sainz who got the better of both battles,
taking the NEC title ahead of Kvyat with 10 wins to the Russian’s seven. In the
Eurocup championship, Kvyat had to settle for third behind Sainz and champion
Robin Frijns, with retirements in the first and last rounds hurting his chances.
Kvyat stayed at
Formula Renault 2.0 level in 2012, competing in the Alps series instead of the
NEC. Seven wins in 14 races in the Alps series – including a dominant double at
Monza – saw Kvyat win the title by three points, while he looked set to follow
that with another title in the Eurocup but eighth place in the final race meant
he had to settle for the runner-up spot, 10 points behind Stoffel Vandoorne.
In 2013, Kvyat
moved in to GP3 with MW Arden while also competing in Formula 3 for Carlin. The
GP3 campaign got off to a slow start, but after a run of consistent points
Kvyat finally scored his first podium at the ninth round in Hungary. The first
victory soon came in the feature race at Spa, and suddenly an opportunity for a
race seat at Toro Rosso seemed a possibility with Daniel Ricciardo getting the
nod to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton was quickest in FP2 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as just 0.083s separated him from title rival Nico Rosberg 
Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes held a huge advantage over the rest of the field 
GP3 champion Alex Lynn says he “absolutely” feels ready for a shot at F1 having done all that was asked of him by Red Bull
With little to play for personally, both Toro Rosso drivers are looking forward to the final F1 round in Abu Dhabi for other reasons.