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Daniil Kvyat




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Daniil Kvyat


Ufa, Russia
Rome, Italy

Official website:


Born on April 26, 1994 in Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, Kvyat first stepped into a kart when he was eight. After being spotted racing at his local 'Kart-land', he began racing competitively in 2005. Twelve months later, he and his family moved to Rome and he started competing in the Italian Championship. He has since become an avid AS Roma soccer fan.

In 2008 the Russian finished third in the KF3 European Championship and runner-up in the Asia Pacific Championship, while 2009 saw him take 2nd in the WSK International Series and 3rd in the European Championship. For 2010 he stepped up to open wheel formula cars and drove Formula BMW in the European and Pacific series, he picked up 2 wins in the Pacific races.

Kvyat went to New Zealand and contested the Toyota Racing Series in January and February 2011 with Victory Motor Racing, finishing fifth in the championship with a win in the Dan Higgins Trophy at Manfield and another 5 podiums.

Those experiences prepared him well for the summer season in Europe and the move to Formula Renault Eurocup and NEC, in which he finished 3rd and 2nd respectively.

Kvyat joined Koiranen Motorsport with his Formula BMW and Red Bull Junior teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. for full 2011 seasons in both the Eurocup and Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup. He finished runner-up behind Sainz Jr. in the NEC standings with 7 wins (including a hat-trick at Monza). In Eurocup he was often chasing Sainz Jr. but scored victories at Spa and the Nurburgring.

While Sainz moved on to F3, Kvyat remained with the Renault series. He enjoyed a great season in 2012 with 14 wins in Formula Renault 2.0. He also contested both the Eurocup where 7 victories took him to 2nd place and the Alps series where another 7 wins gave him the title.

His 2012 results showed he had little more to learn in Renault 2.0 and a move to GP3 was the obvious step for 2013. He joined fellow Red Bull protege Carlos Sainz Jr. in the MW Arden team where their rivalry was renewed.

Again, his progress in GP3 was startling. Though he started the season poorly he soon recovered, scoring his first podium in his fifth feature race. Following two wins in the next two feature races, he went to Abu Dhabi a title contender and subsequently won the championship in his debut year.

His performance in two final feature races at Monza and Abu Dhabi was noticeable; scoring a pole, a win, led every lap and recorded the fastest lap, gaining the maximum points available at both races.

In May, Daniil got the chance to race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship round at Hockenheim driving a Dallara VW for Carlin. Taking pole position for Race 3 and a 3rd place finish in that race led to him signing up for the rest of the season. As a guest driver however, he did not accrue championship points.

On July 19, Kvyat made his F1 debut when he participated in the Young Driver Test at Silverstone. The Russian completed just 22 laps, the Faenza team having to reduce his track-time after a car issue had restricted Jean-Eric Vergne's running. Three months later, on October 21, Daniil was named as Vergne's teammate at Toro Rosso for 2014.

As was the case with all Renault runners, pre-season testing didn't bode well. Nonetheless, the season got off to a strong start in Melbourne with Vergne and Daniil qualifying 6th and 8th and subsequently finishing the race 8th and 9th. Indeed, in his first outing, the Russian youngster had broken Sebastian Vettel's record as the youngest point scorer in the sport's history.

Other than the British Grand Prix, that was the last time both drivers finished in the points together, Vergne scoring points in seven races in total and Daniil in five. Indeed, such was the poor reliability of the entire package, it was rare to get both drivers home far less in the points.

Out-performing his teammate in qualifying 12-7, it was always clear that Daniil has speed, on Sundays however, when it really matters, it was invariably Vergne who had the upper hand.

In his defence, Toro Rosso experienced a hit-and-miss season, both drivers experiencing more than their fair share of retirements. Indeed, both suffered five retirements apiece with issues including the power unit, exhaust, brakes, drivetrain and electrics.

His best qualifying performance of the year came on home soil, where he placed the car fifth on the grid, however a largely anonymous performance next day saw him bring the car home 15th.

In mid-August, the team announced that it had signed 16-year-old Max Verstappen for 2015 alongside Daniil, with no mention of Vergne. However, it was subsequently confirmed that Sebastian Vettel was to leave Red Bull (for Ferrari) and that the Russian, in just his second season in F1, was to step up to partner Daniel Ricciardo.

Trying our hardest not to be overly critical, once the announcement was made Daniil's performance appeared to slip. Indeed, to be honest, let's not forget that his best performance of the year was ninth in the opening race, whilst Kevin Magnussen, who finished second in that same race, was reduced to the rank of 'reserve driver' in 2015.

Ahead of the 2015 season, we wrote: "While some see Daniil as one of the true revelations of 2014, others, including Pitpass, are not so sure, and wonder whether he is really ready for Red Bull in only his second season. After all, Helmut Marko and his guys are not known for their generosity of patience. Are they?"

We were wrong.

Whilst his team dominated the headlines for all the wrong reason, Daniil kept his head down and got on with the job.

As feared, 2015 was not a good year for Red Bull. Pre-season testing looked promising enough, for while off the pace of the Mercedes - who wasn't! - the RB11 appeared to be holding its own in terms of the pack behind. However, once the season got underway it was clear that whilst Renault had improved its reliability, power (or the lack of it) was still a major issue.

Indeed, the season opener saw Daniil stop on the way to the grid with a gearbox issue, whilst his teammate could only manage sixth, behind Nasr in the Sauber.

In Malaysia, he finished ahead of his teammate, despite a tangle with Nico Hulkenberg, but already it was clear that the problems with the RB11 were not limited to the power unit.

As the team struggled to resolve its issues, and attention was focussed fully on slower tracks, it became clear that it was missing the input from Adrian Newey.

Fourth was a great result at the notoriously slow and twisty Monaco, Daniil making the best of a quite sublime getaway from the grid.

No surprises that another slow and twisty track, the Hungaroring, saw the team take its biggest points haul of the year. Initially struggling with the car, Daniil admittedly benefitted when his teammate clashed with Nico Rosberg - necessitating an extra stop for a front wing - thereby taking his (and Russia's) first ever F1 podium.

Admittedly, there were some notable mistakes also , the spin at Silverstone, and last lap crash in Austin, but for the most part Daniil gave a good account of himself.

Interestingly, whilst he appeared to fade in the final stages of 2014, he clearly improved as 2015 wound down, narrowly missing out on a second podium in Mexico.

Furthermore, witness the dancing in the pitlane with Ricciardo in Austin, Daniil has a keen sense of humour, something the F1 paddock sorely needs.

While little can be read into the fact he finished three points ahead of his more experienced teammate, fact is Daniil gave a good account of himself during what was a turbulent season for his team (and its partners).

Whatever fate - or Renault - might have in store for him in 2016, let's hope that Daniil can build on the momentum witnessed in 2015... if only to retain the interest of Russian F1 fans. Eh Bernie!

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