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From podiums to pit lane dancing - Daniil Kvyat’s most memorable F1 moments

25 Apr 2016

The Russian Grand Prix may not have as long a history as some races, but in Daniil Kvyat the country has a bonafide rising star to get behind. On the eve of his home race, we cast an eye over some of Kvyat’s career highlights (plus the odd lowlight) to date…


Making his F1 practice debut, United States 2013

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The ink was barely dry on his 2014 race contract with Toro Rosso when a fresh-faced Daniil Kvyat was handed his F1 weekend debut in Austin, taking part in a fog-delayed FP1 session in place of future team mate Jean-Eric Vergne. Despite his inexperience and the tricky circumstances, the newly-crowned GP3 Series champion repaid the faith of Red Bull juniors chief Helmut Marko by lapping just 0.202s off the other STR8 of Daniel Ricciardo. Not bad for a first go…

 

Scoring points on his F1 race debut, Australia 2014

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Not content with becoming one of the youngest F1 racers in history, Kvyat, then 19, earned himself another accolade on his Grand Prix debut in Melbourne by becoming the top flight’s youngest ever points-scorer with an impressive run to ninth. The Russian’s record would last for just over a year before being smashed, at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix, by current Toro Rosso star Max Verstappen.

 

A save of epic proportions, Great Britain 2014

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During FP1 at Silverstone in 2014, Williams’ Felipe Massa found himself in the barriers after casually dipping two tyres onto the artificial grass coming out of the high-speed Stowe Corner. A matter of hours later Kvyat made exactly the same mistake, only this time the Toro Rosso youngster was somehow able to keep his car pointing in the right direction. Supreme luck or sublime skill? You decide.

 

Qualifying P5 on home soil, Russia, 2014

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In his 57-start F1 career with Renault and Caterham, Russia’s first F1 driver Vitaly Petrov managed a best grid position of sixth - a feat surpassed by Kvyat in just his 16th Grand Prix which, appropriately enough, was the inaugural event in Sochi. Sadly for the Russian he’d slump to a disappointing 14th in the race as he struggled with fuel consumption issues.

 

Pushed to ‘braking’ point, Italy 2014

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Of all the circuits where you don’t want to have a braking problem, Monza - with its 350km/h straights - is probably near the top of the list. In 2014 Kvyat found himself struggling with just such an issue, but despite a few hairy moments - including a particularly dicey one at the first chicane - he managed to nurse his car home in 11th.

 

Finishing fourth in the Principality, 2015

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Under pressure to deliver, in light of his switch to Red Bull and the emergence of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz at Toro Rosso, Kvyat underlined his talent - not least to Helmut Marko - with a then career-best finish of fourth on the streets of Monte Carlo.

 

Putting Massa to the sword, Belgium 2015

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“That’s how you ******* do it!” screamed Kvyat over team radio after completing this bold around-the-outside move on Williams’ Felipe Massa in Belgium last year – and it’s easy to see why he was so excited. Coming from a long way back, the Russian just managed to slow his RB11 enough for the uphill right-hander at Les Combes to keep it on the road and snatch the place.  

 

Bagging his first F1 podium, Hungary 2015

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Just over four years after Vitaly Petrov had claimed Russia’s first F1 podium, Kvyat secured one of his own, capturing second with a typically feisty drive in Budapest.  “After Turn 1 I thought my race was over, because I had such a massive flat spot and I could hardly stay on track,” said Kvyat afterwards. “Today I really learned what it means to never give up because it can always come your way.” 

 

Dancing with Daniel, United States 2015

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When the heavens opened ahead of qualifying in Austin last year delaying the start of the session, the drivers suddenly had a lot of spare time on their hands. What to do? Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen improvised a game of skittles, Nico Rosberg played a little football – but it was Kvyat and team mate Daniel Ricciardo who earned the biggest cheers from the sodden crowd with their improvised dance routine. 10 out of 10 from us.

 

Racking up a huge repair bill, Japan 2015

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A small mistake with severe consequences – that’s probably the best way to summarise Kvyat’s monster crash in Japanese qualifying last year, which occurred after the Russian put two wheels on the grass on the entry to Turn 10. “I’m feeling more disappointment than pain,” he’d say later. “I’ve never rolled a racing car before and they say there’s a first time for everything…”

 

Capturing a second podium and Driver of the Day, China 2016

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Sebastian Vettel may not have been impressed by the Kvyat’s bold driving in China, but the fans certainly were as they voted for the Russian as their Driver of the Day for his superb run to third place. Is a third career rostrum finish on the cards in Russia this weekend?