Only two years ago hardly anyone would have thought possible, Daniil Kvyat was sitting so firmly in the saddle at Toro Rosso (or now AlphaTauri).
The Russian took his first podium in Hockenheim last year after more than three years and was in the meantime even associated with a return to Red Bull Racing.
The cockpit next to Max Although it eventually went to Alexander Albon, Kvyat’s return to being part of the Red Bull family is a medium sensation for many, including himself. In the podcast Beyond The Grid, he reveals that he had “never” expected a return after Red Bull had put him in front of the door by the end of the season 2017.
“It was a hard time”, Kvyat recalls and explains that he does not only mean the year 2017. From 2016 onwards, when he had to hand over his cockpit to Max Verstappen after only four seasonal races, it was a “shit time” for him and everything went down the drain. This was also reflected in his results.
4:48 in the internal Toro-Rosso duel with Carlos Sainz
In the season 2017 he only drove twice to the points in the first 14 races. After the Singapore Grand Prix he was in the internal Toro-Rosso duel with Carlos Sainz with 4:48 counters. The Red Bull leaders for Helmut Marko then decided to replace Kvyat with Pierre Gasly for the next two races.
At the next Grand Prix in Austin he got another chance because Gasly had a race in the Japanese Super Formula that weekend. At the time, he hoped that he could “at least until the end of the season” stay in the cockpit if he did his job well in the US. He had previously missed the points in nine races in a row.
“It was a good weekend, many things got better”, remembers Kvyat and explains: “I was feeling well again, and the car was actually really difficult at that time. But I made it to the points, and the Pace looked good,”said the Russian, who finished the race as a tenth and thus in front of his new teammate Brendon Hartley.
After the race there was a meeting with Marko, which was about Kvyat’s future. He just said to me, “I’m afraid it’s not working, that’s all.” It’s simple. Then we shook hands. I’ve been tense all weekend. But to be honest, I was somewhat relieved when I left the room. For it was not an easy time,”says Kvyat.
Bad blood did not exist at the time. I never said anything bad in the media after that,”recalls Kvyat, who later moved on to the season 2018 as a development driver at Ferrari. I never thought a return to Red Bull would be possible. But life can sometimes be very interesting,”says Kvyat.