Ex-AlphaTauri racer Kvyat joins Alpine as reserve driver for 2021
It may not be a race seat, but Daniil Kvyat will remain in Formula 1 for another season as Alpine’s reserve driver for the 2021 campaign…
The 26-year-old Russian lost his AlphaTauri drive to rookie Yuki Tsunoda but said he and manager Nicholas Todt – who also manages Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – were pushing to stay in F1 in some capacity.
And on the day of their launch, Alpine revealed Kvyat – who has over six seasons of racing experience in F1 with AlphaTauri/Toro Rosso and Red Bull, including three podiums in 110 starts – would join their rebranded outfit in a supporting capacity.
“Throughout his career, Daniil has forged a reputation as a very quick driver, but has also shown great resilience,” said Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi. “We are pleased to have yet another determined and talented driver in our ranks as we make our first F1 campaign as Alpine F1 Team.”
Kvyat added: “I am very excited to join the Alpine F1 Team family. The team has achieved some great results in the past year and is very technologically advanced. Development has been strong, and I am aiming to contribute to this positive trend.
“I will try to bring my experience on and off track to help develop the A521 and future cars as well. As a reserve driver you need to keep sharp and I look forward to integrating into the team in several different areas.”
It remains unclear how many races Kvyat will attend or how much time he will get in the car over the course of the season, but he offers impressive experience should he be required to step in for regular race drivers Esteban Ocon and the returning double world champion Fernando Alonso.
Red Bull junior Kvyat made his F1 debut in 2014, having won the GP3 title in 2013 and Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS crown the year before, with Toro Rosso, before earning promotion to Red Bull to replace Ferrari-bound Sebastian Vettel.
He was demoted to Toro Rosso in his second season at Red Bull and then lost his race seat with the Red Bull family altogether for 2018, instead doing a development role with Ferrari. He was recalled for 2019 and stayed on for 2020 before Red Bull opted not to renew his deal again.