Site logo

Daniil Kvyat




Seasons in Formula 1:
Races contested:
Total number of championships:
Total number of wins:
Total number of pole positions:
Total number of fastest laps:
Total number of points:
2020 - number of wins:
2020 - number of poles:
2020 - number of fastest laps:
2020 - points:
2020 - championship position:



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).

When we wrote "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", little did we know that 2016 would be such a roller coaster season for the youngster.

No sooner had he taken a well-deserved podium, the team's first of the year, and delivered the ultimate put-down to Sebastian Vettel, than the young Russian found himself back where it all began... at Toro Rosso, while Max Verstappen was promoted to the A Team.

Furthermore, to make matters even worse, like an actor watching their understudy give a performance of true class, the young Russian could only look on as Verstappen won first time out with his new team.

Though not exactly hitting Skid Row, in the months that followed his high-profile dumping, Daniil went through a dreadful period not only of self-doubt... everyone doubted him, such was the obvious impact of it all.

It would take a heart of stone not to have been moved by Daniil's plight, but when one reflects on the opening races one cannot help but feel that the Russian was very much the architect of his own fall from grace.

Failing to make it through Q1 in Melbourne he subsequently failed to start the race - for the second year in succession.

Though there was the podium in Shanghai, let's not forget that Daniil was in the thick of the mayhem at the start of the race... though worse was to come.

At his home race he was involved in an early incident with Sebastian Vettel which also compromised teammate Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. A couple of corners later he ensured Vettel played no further part in the race by tangling with the German yet again, sending him into the barriers. It was probably round about this time that Helmut Marko got on the phone to his boss Mr Mateschitz.

A sole point in Spain signalled that perhaps he wasn't taking it so badly, but then the rot set in.

Not all of it was the Russian's fault, there were technical issues, but over the course of the year Sainz was similarly affected yet continued to deliver the goods.

His on-track performances, his off-track demeanour had us seriously wondering if he would still be in the car after the summer break. He was, and to all intents and purposes looked all the better for the few weeks off.

Singapore was perhaps the highlight of a difficult season, and if nothing else allowed him to battle with Verstappen, though the outcome was inevitable.

That he was out-qualified 11-6 by Sainz - and 4-0 by Ricciardo - speaks volumes but so too does the fact that following his arrival at Toro Rosso he scored just 4 points, while Sainz amassed 42 over the same period.

When you consider that Toro Rosso finished just 13 points behind McLaren in the constructor standings...

Retained for 2017 - to the surprise of many within the paddock - Daniil had to be on his game from the outset. With GP2 champion Pierre Gasly waiting noisily in the wings, and Helmut Marko not known for his patience - as the young Russian knew only too well - there would not be another chance. Daniil had to deliver... but he didn't.

While many of us shared his pain in 2016, knowing exactly what he was going through, delighted that he finally appeared to come good, how frustrating was it to see Daniil seemingly throw it all away again a year later.

Though almost on a par with Sainz in qualifying, race day was a different matter, Daniil contributing a miserable 5 points to the team's tally of 53. At season end, having lost sixth in the standings to Renault by just 4 points in the final race, how much of the blame lies with the Russian driver?

Putting aside the reliability issues, and Sainz had his own fair share, there were far too many mistakes.

As Sebastian Vettel will agree, first lap crashes are bad enough, but when you're eliminating your own teammates - Verstappen at the Red Bull Ring and Sainz at Silverstone - it's unforgivable.

The season began well enough with a ninth in Melbourne, but other than another ninth in Spain, that was it. Meanwhile, in the first six races alone Sainz had notched up 25 points.

Only once did Daniil lead Sainz home on merit and that came at Monza, while a few weeks later he crashed out in Singapore while seemingly heading for a strong points finish, his teammate coming home a very impressive fourth.

Clearly that was the final straw, for the Russian was hastily dropped in favour of Gasly. And even when a deal was done which saw Sainz released early to Renault, rather than turn to Daniil it was decided to bring Brendon Harley in from the cold.

As it happens, in one of those strange twists of fate, when Gasly headed to Japan for the season finale of the Superformula series, it was Daniil that Toro Rosso turned to to replace the Frenchman at Austin. Ironically, while bad weather meant the cancelation of the Superformula event - meaning Gasly missed out on the title - Daniil came home tenth following a perfect race to score his fifth point of the season.

However, while Helmut Marko and Franz Tost both subsequently praised Daniil for his speed and ability, they made it clear that it was his consistency that was lacking. It was subsequently also made clear that the Russian was no longer part of the Red Bull programme.

Though linked to the Williams drive alongside Lance Stroll, it was Daniil's countryman Sergey Sirotkin and his roubles that eventually got the nod. However, on 10 January, Ferrari announced it had signed Daniil as its development driver, a move that came totally out of the blue.

Over the course of the season, Daniil's work was mainly restricted to the simulator, though he did drive the SF71H for real at Fiorano on at least one occasion.

With on-track testing strictly limited, Ferrari is one team that has relied heavily on its simulator, and as in 2017, the team's fortune's would often change over the course of a GP weekend as data from the track was passed back to Maranello in order that Daniil, and fellow test driver Antonio Giovinazzi, could carry out vital work overnight on the simulator.

Indeed, in late September, when it was revealed that Daniil was heading back to Faenza, for what would be his third stint with Toro Rosso, Ferrari admitted that he would be a great loss to the team.

By now, Daniil would know the score at Toro Rosso, in that he had to deliver, while also realising that at any time he could be dumped (again) as another young driver caught Helmut Marko's eye.

Furthermore, he would need to deal with the fact that while attempting to improve his own form, much like Brendon Hartley in 2018, he would be expected to fulfil a role as guinea pig for the Red Bull-Honda alliance.

Though he was clearly delighted to be back on the grid, Daniil faced a thankless task... but nobody could say that he wasn't warned.

Though the STR14 was nothing special, it was a vast improvement on its predecessor. Then there was Honda, which despite the penalties incurred by its various drivers as it sought to improve pace and reliability, was a massive step forward, especially when one considers those dark days with McLaren.

Indeed, as opposed to 2018, in 2019 Toro Rosso was the third best team in terms of race laps completed, narrowly losing out to Alfa Romeo, while it finished 38 times from 42 starts (90.5%), and scored points on 20 occasions (47.6%), effectively making it the fifth best performing team.

Aware of the perils of underperforming in the eyes of Red Bull's Lord High Executioner, or Helmut to his friends, Daniil was on the ball from the outset, finishing tenth in the season opener.

The next points didn't come until Spain, by which time Albon had opened his account, and while his clash with Norris in China was reminiscent of the old 'torpedo' days, on the whole the Russian was much improved.

A seventh in Canada was proof that the Russian was now finding some consistency to go with his pace, but the best was yet to come.

In the difficult conditions that were the German Grand Prix, Daniil drove what may well come to be seen the race of his life.

Luck didn't really come into it, the Russian drove a mature race and kept his car on the black stuff while others, with far more experience, were making uncharacteristically needless mistakes.

Crossing the line in third, just weeks after Max Verstappen had given Honda its first win since its return to F1, Daniil gave Toro Rosso its first podium since Monza 2008.

While the rest of the world sat back, smiling at the Russian's redemption, remembering those dark days of 2018, clearly Helmut Marko was not one of them.

For when Red Bull decided to call time on Pierre Gasly following a lacklustre start to his career with the big team, it wasn't Daniil that got called up but rookie teammate Albon.

The first race alongside his new/old teammate saw Daniil establish the pecking order, finishing 7th despite only qualifying 18th.

However, as Gasly got over the shock of being dumped by Red Bull and gradually began to find his feet, so the Frenchman began out-qualifying and out-performing the Russian.

While there were further points in Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, they were as nothing compared to Gasly's superb drive to second in Brazil, the epic drag race with Lewis Hamilton to the finish line all but eradicating memories of Daniil's Monaco podium just a few months earlier.

Overall, it was a strong season from the Russian, who appeared to benefit from his year away. That said, the last lap clashes in Mexico and Austin which saw him hit with penalties that dropped him out of the points, were proof that Daniil still has much to learn.

Marko's decision not to promote him to Red Bull was significant, and it is clear that the Austrian will not hesitate to act again should Daniil, Pierre or Alex not come up to scratch this time around.

Having fallen foul of the Red Bull/Marko system a couple of time before, Daniil knows exactly what's needed, what has to be done. His future is very much in his own hands.

If nothing else, he should be striving to attract the attention of a rival team, in order that he can finally be free from being under the constant scrutiny of Mr Marko.

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms