Ex-Red Bull driver reveals how he ‘rates’ Daniel Ricciardo

Russian racing driver Daniil Kvyat has been reflecting on his Formula 1 career, as he gears up for a potential return to single-seater racing.

Daniil Kvyat has reflected on his career at Red Bull in an appearance on the Track Limits podcast, discussing his experience alongside Australian Daniel Ricciardo

When Kvyat joined Red Bull in 2015, Ricciardo was seen as the team’s number 1 driver, having outperformed Sebastian Vettel during the previous season.

“Daniel Ricciardo at the time was like a big superstar, and when I came into the team, he just beat Vettel so there was a lot of hype around him in the team and everywhere,” Kvyat told the podcast.  

“So everyone was like, ‘yeah, he’s the man to beat now. He’s probably the best driver on the grid right now.’

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“There was a lot of rivalry between us, of course. The beginning was like he was taking things easy, then when he saw that, okay, I have pace. 

“Then [he] started also to stay in [the] motorhome until midnight like me and we were both there sitting, engineers were gone already and we were still there studying the data seeing who would go home later.  

“But no, I rate him very good. I think those cars, they suited him up perfectly also at the time, had good understanding of tyres. Those tyres were a bit different, they were very fragile.  

“He’s been a very strong rival, I think pushing me to the limit.”

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While Kvyat had respect for his teammate’s performance on the racetrack, the partnership with Ricciardo would not last long, as the Russian was dropped by Red Bull a few races into the 2016 campaign in favour of Max Verstappen.

While Kvyat would leave the grid at the end of the 2020 season, Verstappen has gone on to have a successful partnership with Red Bull, securing two Drivers’ Championships. 

READ: ‘Shaking up’: Ex-team boss insists Lewis Hamilton should join Ferrari

In the years since he left Formula 1, Kvyat has raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship and NASCAR.

Having raced for Toro Rosso, Red Bull and AlphaTauri, Kvyat could be set for his return to single-seater racing, having participated in a test behind the wheel of NIO 333’s Formula E car.

Alongside Kvyat’s test in Berlin, other drivers who tried out a series of cars included Jack Aitken with Envision and Zane Mahoney with Andretti.