Former Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat has said the exuberant personality for Daniel Ricciardo was “a bit too much for me” at times, though the pair got along well in their time together at the team.
Ricciardo has long been one of the most popular figures in the Formula 1 paddock, with his trademark grin rarely far away during his pomp and plenty of moments in his career having become viral social media clips.
Kvyat was drafted in to replace Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull after the four-time World Champion departed for Ferrari in 2015, and given the way Ricciardo had defied expectations and run the rule over his illustrious team-mate the year beforehand, Kvyat elaborated on the atmosphere he had entered into at Red Bull when he was promoted from Toro Rosso.
“Daniel Ricciardo at the time was like a big superstar, and when I came into the team, he just beat Vettel so there was a lot of hype around him in the team and everywhere,” Kvyat explained on the Track Limits podcast.
“So everyone was like, ‘yeah, he’s the man to beat now. He’s probably the best driver on the grid right now.’
“That’s what they were telling me. So for me, it was huge. Now it’s different, of course, but back then he was top notch. So for me was a big year, 2015, when I just got into a Red Bull.”
As Red Bull team-mates, Kvyat and Ricciardo naturally will have spent plenty of time in each other’s company, and the Russian explained that the duo ended up in the team’s motorhome for hours on end poring over the day’s data as they looked for a competitive advantage.
And given the context of his career to date, Kvyat rates the Australian as one of his strongest rivals to date, even if his playful side became a bit much on occasion.
“My impression of him was he was the man at the time, very funny personality so very attractive for media – bit too much for me – but no, we got along well,” Kvyat said.
“There was a lot of rivalry between us, of course. The beginning was like he was taking things easy, then when he saw that, okay, I have pace, then [he] started also to stay in [the] motorhome until midnight like me and we were both there sitting, engineers were gone already and we were still there studying the data seeing who would go home later.
“But no, I rate him very good. I think those cars, they suited him up perfectly also at the time, had good understanding of tyres. Those tyres were a bit different, they were very fragile.
“He’s been a very strong rival, I think pushing me to the limit. An impression? Yeah, a lot of jokes, but he’s a nice, nice guy.”