Daniil Kvyat makes a return to the Formula 1 grid after a season and a bit lay-off in which time the 24-year-old found refuge as a Ferrari development and simulator driver, heading to Austalia for the season opener the Russian is adamant that the time at Maranello was invaluable.
Kvyat’s story is well told, groomed by Red Bull through his junior career through to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso and then on to the senior team. Accident prone, erratic but undeniably quick he was demoted back to Toro Rosso, then replaced by Pierre Gasly, then a one race return and followed by dismissal from the energy drinks driver programme.
Now he is back for another crack at the big time with Toro Rosso, thankful of his time with Ferrari.
Kvyat told El Mundo Deportivo ahead, “The year with Ferrari was very positive: it was nice to work in such a different environment, they treated me well, but I have the hunger to race in Formula 1 and this opportunity has arisen.”
“Not everything can always be easy, sometimes there are highs and lows and 2018 has helped me, it has made me hungrier. Formula 1 is like that, you always have to do well: maybe if you are a World Champion you can also have a bad spell, but when you are in the midfield you must always be at the top of your game.
“You can not afford three or four bad races. I have a great team around me and it has helped me to digest the past, understanding what I have to do to improve myself as a person and as a driver.”
Kvyat’s temperament was dodgy early on in his second season with Red Bull, unable to match Daniel Ricciardo the Russian became increasingly desperate and one incident too many resulted in a humiliating demotion which led to him sliding to the sidelines last year.
Ahead of his return to the F1 grid, for his 73rd Grand Prix start, the ‘new’ Kvyat explained how he has matured, “The only thing I can say is that I’ve changed a few things in my way to prepare for the races and in my work, I really hope this can lead to an improvement in my driving.”
“I feel positive pressure. Obviously, you always have to have a certain level of pressure, otherwise you would not be human. It is important to have it, but close to me I feel a very positive atmosphere in the team.”
“My approach will be different, I have changed some things in my way of preparing races and my work. And I strongly hope that it will lead to an improvement in my driving.”
“What have I changed? We will see. I do not want to say too much. I do not want to reveal anything, I want to make myself clear on the track,” added Kvyat who along with Toro Roso rookie teammate Alex Albon enjoyed a strong F1 preseason of testing in Spain.