Russian driver Daniil Kvyat was dropped by the Toro Rosso team after his point-scoring United States Grand Prix. As a result, four tumultuous years with the Red Bull family finally came to an end. Former teammate Daniel Ricciardo sympathised with the Russian’s plight. But, Ricciardo backs Kvyat to use this one year off to recharge and come back strongly.
Kvyat made his debut with Toro Rosso in 2014 before being promoted to Red Bull a year later. However, a wretched start to 2016 saw him drop back down to Toro Rosso before losing his seat following this year’s United States GP. Although he has been linked to Williams’ one vacant seat, it looks as if Kvyat will lose out on that leaving him without a drive for 2018.
Ricciardo said, “I think if Daniil misses a season, it could even do him good. He just needs a reboot. I am confident that leaving Red Bull will even do him good. He is naturally very talented, which I recognised well when we were teammates. He was often very fast. He’s also still very young and I think still has a chance to prove himself in Formula One.”
The Daniil Kvyat Saga began in 2016 after he began to race a little wildly and drew the ire of several drivers starting with Sebastian Vettel. Things came to a head at the Russian GP after Kvyat took Vettel out on the opening lap. A disgruntled Helmut Marko punished the Russian by demoting him to sister team Toro Rosso and promoting Max Verstappen.
Since then, Kvyat’s performance had been getting more and more wayward. After being almost regularly beaten by Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso dropped him in favour of Pierre Gasly. When Gasly had his Super Formula commitments, Kvyat was brought back alongside Brendon Hartley who replaced a departing Carlos Sainz Jr. Later, Gasly partnered Hartley for the rest of the 2017 season.
But Ricciardo backs Kvyat to put everything behind him and recharge his batteries. Meanwhile, there are other avenues for the Russian to keep up the adrenaline rush. For example, WEC, IndyCAR or even the up and coming Formula E.