At the end of 2017, Daniil Kvyat’s career as a Formula 1 driver looked to be well and truly over, the Russian forced out at Toro Rosso before the season end, a year on from the humiliation of losing his Red Bull drive mid-season in favour of Max Verstappen.
Formula 1 moves in mysterious ways, though, and after spending a year as a development driver for Ferrari in 2018, Kvyat found himself called back into Toro Rosso to lead the squad’s 2019 campaign alongside rookie Alexander Albon. And after finishing P10 and scoring a point at the season-opener in Melbourne, Kvyat admitted that he was relishing the opportunity to prove himself on the F1 grid once more.
Kvyat hails one of his most hard-earned points on F1 return
“I feel like it’s a fresh start,” said Kvyat, “a good opportunity to be a better driver, a better person, and I think that’s exactly what I’ve tried to work on.”
The only major hiccough on Kvyat's Toro Rosso return was this botched passing attempt on Lance Stroll
To secure that P10 position in Melbourne, Kvyat had to spend the majority of the race holding off the faster Red Bull sister car of Pierre Gasly. And despite the midfield battle for 2019 looking set to be a tightly-fought contest, Kvyat was buoyed by his ability to resist Gasly – and optimistic about Toro Rosso’s chances for the upcoming Grands Prix.
“I had a good battle with Pierre towards the end of the race,” said Kvyat. “I felt like I could fight him well and at the end, it was satisfying to keep a quicker car behind almost the whole race.
“I know we have a good package with the car and the engine, so we need to keep developing it. I’m very optimistic for the next few races and I think it’s possible to achieve good results.”
Daniil Kvyat: An enjoyable Grand Prix return