It wasn’t that long ago that Daniil Kvyat believed his Formula 1 career was over, but now he is driving better than ever and hopes to get another chance at one of the top teams.
The past few seasons have been a rollercoaster ride for the Russian, but he now seems to finally be finding his best form.
Having made his debut as a 19-year-old for Toro Rosso in 2014, Kvyat found himself in a Red Bull seat the following season. However, three races into the 2016 season and he was back at Toro Rosso.
After nearly two full seasons with the Faenza-based squad, he suddenly found himself on the sidelines as he was dropped by Toro Rosso and also lost his place in the Red Bull development programme.
“My career evolved quickly,” he told the official Formula 1 website. “I’ve had no time. I had to skip a few little steps. It wasn’t a bad thing. Even last year, when I wasn’t racing, I wanted to get back racing. But sometimes, you need to take a little step back to go forward in the future.”
He spent the 2018 seasons as the Ferrari development driver and it did him wonders on and off the track, but he soon found himself back on the race grid as Toro Rosso came calling.
And the 2019 season has gone well so far as he has picked up 33 points and claimed the team’s only podium of the season at a chaotic German Grand Prix.
Needless to say, Kvyat is enjoying his racing again.
“This year, I’ve been driving almost all year at my peak, driving better than ever and using my potential,” he said. “It’s really enjoyable. That’s what makes me enjoy the sport so much and, of course, when the results come with it, it makes you enjoy it even more. So, it’s really good. It has been a good season so far, many points scored and a podium for a team that hasn’t had one for 11 years. It’s a fantastic achievement.”
He added: “My career was over in my mind at some point last year and it was great to get another opportunity from Red Bull. They believed in me again and they offered me this chance to show that I learned from all the crises of the past and now I’m doing a better job.”
His excellent performances have seen him mentioned as a possible team-mate for Max Verstappen at Red Bull next year.
Although Red Bull’s bosses have indicated that it’s a toss up between Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly.
For now, Kvyat knows it’s about being patient.
“I have no particular plan, especially with Red Bull – it’s hard to have a particular plan,” he says. “Everything is quite open. I need to keep doing the job I’m doing. They said that they were happy with my year so far and just asked me to keep doing this job. They asked me to try to get the highest position possible for this team and then they will see where things will be.
“Whatever way it will go, I need to have patience. I need to accept that sometimes it might take time to get a chance at the highest level. But now I know that whenever the opportunity will come at the highest level, I’m ready. I’m more ready than ever.”