Driver who rejected Ferrari seat insists they need to copy Aston Martin

Daniil Kvyat is competing for Prema Racing in the WEC this year.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat believes Ferrari are in need of a “technical revolution” in order to return to the front, with the side having fallen further behind Red Bull this season.

Kvyat has certainly been amongst the headlines over the past few days, with the Russian driver having revealed how close he came to actually joining Ferrari for the 2017 F1 season.

Kvyat’s F1 career is ultimately remembered for him having been replaced by Max Verstappen at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, with the duo having switched positions.

Verstappen took Kvyat’s spot at Red Bull after just four rounds of the 2016 season, whilst Kvyat took the Dutchman’s seat at Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri).

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

That moment was somewhat the beginning of the end for Kvyat in F1, with the Russian having never returned to a frontrunning team.

He ultimately left F1 at the end of 2020, although, he was Alpine’s reserve driver for 2021.

His F1 career could’ve panned out so differently had he not remained loyal to Red Bull, with Kvyat having recently shared that Ferrari approached him in 2016 about replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Maranello.

“I was doing really well and had another podium in China,” Kvyat told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Article continues below

“At that time I also had an offer from Ferrari to replace Kimi – that was going on behind the scenes,” he said. “So mentally it was very difficult when I suddenly had to go back to Toro Rosso.”

In hindsight, accepting the move would’ve perhaps saved his F1 career; however, he ultimately became a midfield driver again once he returned to the Red Bull sister team.

Things are starting to look up for the 28-year-old now, though, with him set to be a Lamborghini driver in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) next year, whilst he’s spending this year in the WEC racing for Prema.

Kvyat has done well to obtain an Italian racing licence following the conflict in Eastern Europe, which made racing outside of Russia very difficult for him last year.

By getting hold of an Italian racing license, Kvyat can compete freely again, something which the vast majority of Russian drivers have been unable to do.

Kvyat remains hopeful that the conflict will end soon and that things can return to normal; however, he does believe the “sport should unite” in regard to letting impacted drivers compete.

“In that way I do not stop hoping for the best – that calm times will come again soon,” Kvyat said.

“I have always said that sport should unite. That’s my opinion. But I grew up in Italy so we decided that I will race with an Italian license and under the Italian flag.

“This is how everything will be for me now,” Kvyat added.

Given his links to Ferrari, Kvyat has shared his views on what is letting the Maranello-based team down currently, with the side sitting fourth in the Constructors’ Championship as things stand.

Kvyat believes Ferrari have missed a trick that Red Bull and Aston Martin have made the most of, by hiring engineers from other teams.

READ: Red Bull lining up replacement for Sergio Perez

“I thought it would go differently for them, given the good car they had in 2022,” said Kvyat.

“Given the way it is, I would say that it will be difficult for them to bounce back in the short term. Ferrari needs a technical revolution.

“The team has a new boss, but perhaps they should have hired engineers from other teams. They should have done exactly what Red Bull did with Mercedes or Aston Martin did with Red Bull.”