Daniil Kvyat aims to “recharge” over the F1 summer break as Pierre Gasly gathers momentum
Red Bull Racing
Daniil Kvyat
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  02 Aug 2016   |  1:53 pm GMT  |  52 comments

Daniil Kvyat plans to use the Formula 1 summer to recover and refocus his campaign after a difficult first half of the 2016 season. It is very clear that he is struggling with confidence at a delicate moment when his career hangs in the balance.

Despite scoring a podium at the Chinese Grand Prix, the Russian driver was demoted from the Red Bull team back to his former squad Toro Rosso shortly before the Spanish Grand Prix, a race that his replacement, Max Verstappen, went on to win.

Kyvat has scored just two points since he re-joined Toro Rosso, compared to Carlos Sainz’s haul of 26, and has endured a number of lowly grid spots in that time and he had huge crash in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Daniil Kvyat

The 22-year-old finished 15th in last weekend’s German Grand Prix and he explained afterwards how both he and Toro Rosso need to come back after the August break in better form.

He said: “We now need to see where we can improve, try and maximise our strong points and come back stronger for the second part of the season. I will now use the summer break to recharge my batteries and come back as fresh as possible for the next races.”

Kyvat’s qualifying for the race in Germany last weekend was not encouraging as he lined up 18th, three places and 0.5s behind Sainz, which would have been five if not for the 21-year-old’s grid penalty for impeding Felipe Massa.

After that performance, Kyvat was decidedly bleak in his assessment of his own F1 future.

Daniil Kvyat

He said: “It’s looking very bad now, and if it continues like this then I don’t think anything bright is ahead. I just need to get things going, and once I do that, then it will be fine.

“It’s not like I’m having the most pleasant time in the world, it’s not easy, but it’s not an excuse. Everyone has hard times. If you’re good, you come out of it, if you’re not good enough, you just die.”

Another worry for Kvyat beyond is own form are the GP2 results of Red Bull’s most senior junior driver, Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman has scored two feature race wins in the last three meetings of F1’s feeder series and he put in an eye-catching performance to steal third place on the line in last weekend’s main GP2 race after a poor start, although he was later disqualified for continuing to race after his cockpit fire extinguisher and gone off.

Pierre Gasly

Gasly did go through a barren spell of race victories before reigniting his GP2 championship charge at Silverstone, but Red Bull has a history of promoting its junior drivers mid-way through an F1 season in place of racers that it feels are not delivering. Gasly also tested the RB12 at the recent two-day test that followed the British Grand Prix.

Back in 2009, Jaime Alguersuari was parachuted in from Formula Renault 3.5 to replace Sébastien Bourdais, and it’s not inconceivable that Red Bull could do something similar with Gasly. It is possible the team could put the 20-year-old at Toro Rosso for the races between Singapore and Brazil before slotting him back into GP2 to contest the final round at Abu Dhabi, a move that Alexander Rossi and Manor arranged in 2015.

XPB.cc Pierre Gasly

One thing that will count in Kvyat’s favour is his strong performance at Hockenheim relative to Sainz, as he delivered pace similar to the Spaniard during the race and finished just one spot behind him.

The 2015 Ferrari engine that Toro Rosso is using is also receiving no upgrades, and that is an important factor that should be noted in both of the performances of the drivers at the Italian team.

Finally, Red Bull does appear to lack strength in depth in its junior programme to a certain extent for the first time in a number of years. Below Gasly, Sérgio Sette Câmara and Niko Kariracing are racing in European Formula 3, while Luis Leeds and Richard Verschoor are competing at Formula 4 level.

If Kvyat is given a chance to show what he can do when F1 returns after the summer break, he needs to deliver fast to save his career in the championship beyond this season.

Daniil Kvyat

Do you think Red Bull will keep Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso for the rest of 2016? How would you rate the Russian’s performances in the first half of the season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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looking at the results, KVY didnt have a particularly bad start to the year; but his record to SAI at TR is pretty poor – off the back of being dumped in a pretty public way. The VET saga in Russia was poorly timed and not too lucky. Anyone else would have been able to shrug it off and be allowed to move on. I think he’s beeen unlucky in being in the hot seat when the protégé came along.
Hard luck, life is tough and brutal sometimes but maybe he can get a chance the rest of this year.
I hope so, but doubt he’ll be around F1 in 17′


Kvyat is a much better driver than his post demotion form might suggest. His confidence was shattered by the unexpected and cut throat sacking. I think his team mates should try and help him regain his form by showing some kind of support. This kind of thing can affect every other driver at some point in their career so come on guys, show some solidarity.


Is Alex Lynn no longer part of the RedBull programme?

Alex Kalinauckas

No, he left at the end of 2014 and joined Williams as a development driver early the following year.


“if your not good enough, you just die”

With statement’s like this you have to be concerned about his mental well-being, especially if it’s more than a little bit of wallowing in self-pity.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Toro Rosso promoted Gasly before season’s end over Kyvat.

It might be the thing Dani needs most.

Getting out of his current environment and finding the time and space to fully comprehend what it is he wants and the most stable environment to achieve his goals in has to be his priority because the all enveloping, pressure cooker world that is modern day F1 is hardly condusive to clarifying one’s thoughts.

F1 isnt the be all and end all as life as a race car driver afterall.


Fate is a fickle thing. To be dropped from a team on the rise, to a team who was always going to have an arduous back end of the season with the Ferarri 2015 engine being out-developed by the rest of the field.
It does make me wonder how the pundits would be rating Ves now if RB hadn’t have done the switch. He would be driving around in 12th-18th (as anyone would in an out-developed car).
It just goes to show that every driver has a “cross-roads” moment at least once in their career.
It will NEVER happen, but i would love to see an entire grid-swap for a race -HAM/ROS to Manor, HIR/WER to MB….and so on and so forth right through the grid. It would be like management day at McDonalds -when the CEO flips quarter pounders.
Not sure who would win, but it would be fun to watch…


I actually feel more sorry for Sainz… he’s is on a hiding to nothing at TR.
I doubt that either Ric or Max will be going anywhere soon so RB isn’t an option in the foreseeable future.
For him to get a sniff at a decent drive with any top team he will have to dominate or at least equal a known number 1 driver…. he will never get the chance staying at TR. Even if another Max comes along, and let’s say that Carlos beats him, the perception will just be that the new prodigy didn’t meet expectations and not recognise that actually; Sainz is the real deal.
His only hope is to utterly crush Kvyat for the remainder of the season (assuming DK is going to be around that long) and then put Grasly over his knee in 2017.

And then hope 2018 brings him a drive at a midfield team with someone like Grosjean or Jenson as a team mate to prove himself against…. or slot in to Renault whilst they’re down and accessible.

As for Kvyat…. all he can look forward to is Massa buying the first round at the bar in the retirement village.


O dear i feel so sorry for the lad. For me his management team are poor. He appears to be one that needs an arm around him b4 he can perform. No doubt his demotion has had its effects but sometimes when you experience adversity you gotta show grit. Danny my advice if you are reading this…. concentrate on your qualities and compete equally or better with your team mate for the 2nd half of the season. If your are demmed competent doors will be opened for next season with other teams if yr team has already decided to dump you. Good luck mate.


I can see why people would say Kvyat’s public utterances have a worrying ring to them, but leaving that aside, I think he’s handled this with great dignity. A remarkable young man. In an increasingly professional and PR-managed sport, I find Daniil’s complete lack of pretension about his situation very impressive. Let’s hope he manages to make a great come-back the rest of the season. Germany was pretty impressive, considering the pressure he’s under. And whatever happens, chin up.


I will be very surprised is Kyvat’s with TR next year! His F1 career might be in jeopardy!


I hope Kvyat will regain his confidence so he can up his game during the 2nd part of the season.

Completely off topic: just to give you an idea about the complexity of the modern F1 cars. link: http://www.racedepartment.com/threads/assetto-corsa-ferrari-sf15-t-technical-guide.123938/


The demotion from Red Bull seems to have all but destroyed Daniil Kvyat’s confidence. The trouble is, even had he put in a good race at Sochi, i think he would have still been sent back to Toro Rosso, as the management clearly wanted Verstappen in a Red Bull asap and someone sooner or later would have needed to make way. I just hope now that he is able to get on top of his issues, finish the season on a more positive note, and perhaps will be able to secure a drive with a team which will help him get his groove back.


I thought his first year at Torro Rosso was slightly overrated because of his age compared to Vergne (although maybe Max has led me to expect greatness early) but he got more points than Daniel Ricciardo last year how can he be out of F1 after a bad run of form?

He had some very respectable composed drives at the end of last season getting more out of the car than Daniel and even in China two races before he was binned for Verstappen.

I get Red Bull moving on quickly if they don’t think he is good enough for them but surely someone would take a shot on him? Drivers like Perez and Grosjean would be out of F1 after a bad year if other teams were as ruthless as Red Bull…


On a more sinister note……
Could Mr E’s bromance with Puttin and the Russian GP help keep a Danni in a seat? I mean once you start getting into bed with a Dictator you’ve gotta half expect some underhanded nonsense. Let’s face it,if your talking about state sanctioned doping then it’s not that conspiratorial really.


“… once you start getting into bed with a Dictator…”

Yes, Putin should have known better than to do that 😀


Yet another young driver chewed up and spit out by Red Bull.


Daniil is a good racer and very competent driver who was displaced by a phenom. I always felt he was good enough to be in the Red Bull varsity (so is Sainz) but it is a 2 car team. He should have people around him to help him understand Max was going to be promoted and they weren’t going to give him Ricciardo’s seat. I rate Kvyat ahead of Haryanto, Nasr, Palmer, Gutierrez, Wehrlein and Ericsson. I believe his natural level is equal to Magnussen, Grosjean, Massa (2015-16 edition) and Hulkenberg.
If Toro Rosso want to compete they need to leave the driver lineup alone, secure a competitive engine package for 2017 and build a clever car. Next years car will be a big change and experience of Sainz and Kvyat will be critical to sorting it out early.
I would keep the lads, then tell Kvyat and Sainz during the summer break they are in the 2017 car.


you really think that?
There is nothing in his driving to date that suggests he has what it takes to be a force in F1. It’s funny how the “next bright young thing” can quickly tarnish and look destined for the scrapheap when something or someone newer comes along. At the end of the day all you have to fall back on is your performance, talent, and work ethic.


“I rate Kvyat ahead of Haryanto, Nasr, Palmer, Gutierrez, Wehrlein and Ericsson. I believe his natural level is equal to Magnussen, Grosjean, Massa (2015-16 edition) and Hulkenberg.”

IMHO, GRO and HUL are as good as they are going to get, MAS is past his prime, WEH is as yet untried, and the rest are fair drivers at best. Most managers would take WEH, VAN, or Gasly in preference to an admittedly likeable guy who appears to be damaged goods.


Kyvat is a perfect example of a young driver getting too much, too soon. Could have done with another couple of years in a junior formula. Now it looks like his F1 career will be over before it has ever really begun.


Dani is lost, 2016 proved a rough year. Amazing how quickly life can change. Without good Russian money, not sure if can mantain a place in F1. TR is past already, but what team can be interested in him. Interesting individual, I am gonna miss him.


Yes don’t forget 4-5 other drivers could have won the championship in the Toro Ross Alan F1 😉 It’s amazing how quickly things can change hey?😆


Are we still talking about Riccardio, Maldonado, Dale Earnhart Jnr, Danica Patrick and Ricky Gervais?


He should may be have a chat with Kimi or Perez because both of them have had a similar setbacks in their careers & they have bounced back quite nicely.
I’m not quite sure that will be of any help though, cos I think Red bull have already decided to drop him by the end of this year…


Reminds me a bit of Heinz-Harald Frentzen in his latter days at Williams. His confidence had got a bit of a beating, but then he moved to Jordan and suddenly became a completely different racer. Hope Daniil can do the same, either at Toro Rosso or elsewhere.


I feel sorry for Kvyat… I feel sorry for Buemi, Alguersuari, Jean-Eric Vergne. It’s likely I’ll feel sorry for Gasly in the future. Toro Rosso is a very tough gig. They’ve done well in bringing youngsters, but how many of them have ended up having proper careers? Debut at 19 or 20, out of F1 at 22! Heck, Alguersuari is still only 25, and he’s been out of F1 for a couple of years now. Unfortunately for those guys who drove for them early in the decade, they weren’t as competitve as they are now, so it was hard to look good.
If Kvyat survives the winter break and is kept for 2017, it would be a miracle. Maybe Red Bull/Toro Rosso will keep him just to give themselves a look of being a family and looking after one of their own?


I found out that Alguersuari at 25 already retired from motorsport and is now pursuing a music career.


I’ve never associated Helmut Marko as being the type who worries about ‘looks’ when it comes to hiring and firing junior drivers.


There’s no doubting that Max Verstappen has more quality and talent than Daniil Kyvat, and Helmut Marko/Christian Horner made the right call. But I do feel sorry for the Russian. It’s as if the moment it was announced Kyvat would be joining the senior team at the end of 2014, nearly everyone (inside and outside Red Bull) immediately cast him as a mere “place holder” until the next big star from the academy emerged. And it carried on through to 2015, even if he outpointed Daniel Ricciardo in their first season as team-mates (albeit by one point)!

Anyway, I think what makes it really difficult for Kyvat is that he has to continue working with the same company that “screwed” him over (the Red Bull “family”), when all he probably wants is to cut ties asap. It’s a tough position to be in, but at the moment he really has no other choice: if he wants other teams to see/remember his worth/quality as a driver, he needs to rise above the negative aspects of the moment and perform well.


The crazy thing is (going from his and Vettel’s performance against Ric) he’s as fast if not faster than Vettel. Hell, Verne is only a test driver at Ferrari and he would leave Vettel sitting. Here must be apart of the problem at Ferrari. They see their number 3 and number 2 drivers as 2 and 1 drivers.


“One thing that will count in Kvyat’s favour is his strong performance at Hockenheim relative to Sainz, as he delivered pace similar to the Spaniard during the race and finished just one spot behind him.”

Yep, but in F1 I’m not sure that “close” is close enough – If he’s to have any hope of a seat in 2017 (or even the remainder of 2016) he needs to start kicking Sainz’s proverbial pronto.


Plus Sainz actually lost 4 positions in the pit stop and without that he would have been in the Perez/Alonso fight at the end


Agreed, he needs to out race Sainz over and over – and not just by a small margin. He needs to pummel him into the ground and he has 4-5 races straight after the break where that has to happen. If he doesn’t deliver from Spa onwards, no matter what happens in the final races of the season, it’ll be FE for Kvyat.


Some people talk about the ‘brutality’ of red bull and how they determine their future drivers. This what all drivers in that scheme know from before day 1. you get the drive if you are successful and that bar is set very very high. there is nothing ‘brutal’ at all about it. It is simply a reality. take it or leave it. Kvyat was,IMO, subject to the ‘peter principle’ when it comes to promotion. Nothing new in that. He was never in the same league as DR and the team were fully aware of that. The potential was there and i’m sure that red bull gave him every opportunity to shine but he didn’t make the grade and therefore he was subject to either being discarded or given another chance. RB gave him the latter in a display of unusual benevolence and he has not taken the game to sainz. I’m equally sure that TR would’ve been most helpful to him as well. Self reliance and performance then has to kick in. If that doesn’t happen then sayonara baby and the best of luck.


Alex, I think your parting statement says it all.

It’s time for DK to deliver now. No second chances.

It’s been really difficult watching what he’s been going through this season. F1 is an utterly ruthless environment and it seems he’s not been dealing with the knock back too well at all. To be fair to Daniil, I think most of us would feel a hit in a similar situation.

As it stands at the moment, he finally had a better performance in relation to Sainz (whom I rate very highly) in Hockenheim and I think the timing of the break may be good for him.

I just hope he can come back stronger, because if he doesn’t Gasly (who is looking pretty decent) will be brought in without a second thought.

I like Daniil and wish him all the best.


The harshest thing is that others drivers have the resources to get a second chance like Perez or Gutierrez. I think Daniil is a better driver than Gutierrez who is not shining and probably will be in F1 next year. Without proper funding, he won’t have another chance anymore beyond this year if he can’t improve.


It’s obvious Daniil Kvyat’s career with Red Bull is over. Even if his performances improved after the summer break, he’s not going to get a seat back in the ‘A’ team. If he wants to continue to race, it’ll probably be outside of F1. On the positive side, Daniil will not be financially poorer for his experience.

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