Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has heaped praise upon his Toro Rosso replacement Daniil Kvyat following the Russian’s impressive start to his Formula 1 career.
Ricciardo’s promotion to a seat at Red Bull allowed Kvyat to move up to Toro Rosso after his GP3 Series championship victory in 2013, and in his first twelve races, the rookie has certainly made an impact.
He may only rank 15th in the drivers’ championship with eight points, but his performances and attitude have won him the praise of many, including Ricciardo, who spoke about Kvyat in Belgium.
“I think he’s done a great job in the first six months in Formula 1,” the Australian said. “For a young kid he’s very mature. He’s a bit like me: very immature, but when he needs to be mature, he’s very mature. He’s quick but also intelligent.”
Ricciardo joked that Kvyat or 2015 teammate Max Verstappen could replace either himself or Sebastian Vettel in the future at Red Bull, saying: “Who knows, maybe one day one of them [Kvyat or Verstappen] will be alongside me if they don’t knock me off soon!”
Kvyat has not let the praise go to his head, though. In Belgium, he drove a mature race to come home in ninth place, and although he is trailing teammate Jean-Eric Vergne by three points in the standings, the Frenchman has struggled to outperform Kvyat in 2014 despite his greater experience.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.