Russian driver claims Ferrari asked him to replace Kimi Raikkonen

Max Verstappen replaced Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

Daniil Kvyat’s Formula 1 career is certainly an odd one, with the Russian driver having initially been a future star for Red Bull.

Kvyat broke onto the F1 scene at Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri) in 2014, before being promoted to the main Red Bull team in 2015 after four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel decided to join Ferrari.

His first season at Red Bull was a solid one, with the Russian having finished in the points at 14/19 races, whilst he also claimed a podium.

To further add to what was a great start to life at Red Bull, Kvyat finished above team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the Drivers’ Championship.

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2016 didn’t start brilliantly, though, with him having been heavily criticised by Vettel, with the Russian having been nicknamed ‘the Torpedo’ by the German.

Whilst he did claim a podium at the Chinese Grand Prix that, he was replaced at the fifth round of the season in Spain, with Red Bull having switched Kvyat and a certain Max Verstappen.

Verstappen, of course, went on to win his first race for the Milton Keynes-based team, whilst Kvyat remained back at the sister team until he was replaced with six races to go in 2017 by Pierre Gasly.

Kvyat was brought back into the Faenza-based team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, before being replaced once and for all.

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Verstappen replacing the Russian was certainly the start of 28-year-old’s demise in F1, something which hurt Kvyat given he supposedly rejected a seat at Ferrari.

Kvyat recently revealed that Ferrari approached him in the opening rounds of 2016 to offer him a move to Maranello, to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

Not long after rejecting the switch, he was demoted to Toro Rosso.

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“I was performing really well,” Kvyat told the Track Limits podcast.

“And I just scored another podium for the team [at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix] and then at the time I had also a proposal to race for Ferrari to replace Kimi. That was going on behind the curtain.

“So it was a very difficult situation also for me mentally to go back from being wanted by Ferrari and having seen the contract and then you go back to Toro Rosso suddenly and then you’re like, it’s not going very well suddenly.”