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 Italy 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.
Although appearing to be an outsider, Kvyat was told to keep delivering
results and duly obliged with another win in the feature race at Monza and
second place in the sprint race. That left him as the title favourite heading
to Abu Dhabi and he would arrive there as a Toro Rosso driver having secured
the drive ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa and Sainz having shown more
consistency than both. At the Yas Marina Circuit, Kvyat wrapped up the GP3 championship
with pole, fastest lap and a feature race win.
The rookie may have spent 2014 largely under the radar at Toro Rosso but the
Russian made a solid start to his F1 career by becoming the youngest-ever
points scorer in F1 history with a ninth position in Australia. Four further
points paying finishes – in Malaysia, China, Great Britain and Belgium
respectively – saw him finish 15th in the championship.
four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel switching from Red Bull to Ferrari
for 2015, the young Russian driver was promoted into the Red Bull team to
partner Daniel Ricciardo.
jump from Toro Rosso to one of the top teams in F1 will put serious pressure on
Kvyat to perform much stronger in 2015 despite only having one year in F1 under
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