Daniil Kvyat is still hoping for a last-gasp reprieve at AlphaTauri as he believes he is now “a complete driver”.
The Russian is expected to race for the final time alongside Pierre Gasly in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before being replaced by Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda, although that has yet to be officially confirmed.
With his future on the line, Kvyat appears to have raised his game after the halfway point of the 2020 campaign having turned in particularly strong performances in the Emilia Romagna and Sakhir Grands Prix, in which he sensed a podium finish was on the cards each time.
Asked in an interview with the Formula 1 website whether Abu Dhabi would be his last race, with no immediate prospect of staying in the sport, Kvyat said: “I don’t know, I hope not because I feel like I still have a lot to give to any team.
“This year has been very up and down but I feel like I found strong form in the second part of the year – never gave up, never surrendered and still kept pushing, bringing some valuable points to the team.
“Of course not as many as Pierre, but of course he won the race in Monza which was great for him.
“To sum it up, I feel a complete driver now and I’ll do my best even if I’m not on the grid next year to come back in 2022.”
Sparkling in Abu Dhabi ✨ pic.twitter.com/yXOaQN5RY3
— Daniil Kvyat (@kvyatofficial) December 10, 2020
Pressed on where he may end up if AlphaTauri do dispense with his services, the 26-year-old added: “It would be unfair to start thinking about it now. My manager is talking to teams here and outside of F1 for different roles.
“I’m very open-minded but right now, first things first, the race in Abu Dhabi. I want to do my best here for the team and then we will start seeing.”
Kvyat hopes drives like the one he produced in the Sakhir Grand Prix will serve as a positive advertisement to potential employers – he was running fourth until a badly-timed strategy call under the Safety Car dropped him to an eventual P7 finish.
“I feel like those kinds of races are when my experience comes into play – very tough races in difficult conditions and I managed to do quite well,” said Kvyat.
“A bit unlucky with the Safety Car – I could smell a podium a couple of times but it just vanished with that last Safety Car.
“It would have been a fantastic reward for that race but nevertheless, when we reviewed the race with the team afterwards we said we couldn’t do anything better.”