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F1 2016 Driver Review: Daniil Kvyat

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Daniil Kvyat

Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso/Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 26
Races: 21
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: 3rd (China)
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 25
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 14th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

2016 is a year that will remain long in the memory of Daniil Kvyat, mainly for all the wrong reasons.

It seemed somewhat inevitable that he would one day be replaced by Max Verstappen, such is the Dutchman’s talent, but few saw it coming as quickly as it did. After playing a starring role in the Chinese Grand Prix and finishing second, a nightmare weekend on home soil in Russia was the excuse Red Bull needed to promote Verstappen and send Kvyat back to Toro Rosso.

From then on, Kvyat’s 2016 was all about survival. The move clearly had a deep psychological impact on the youngster, leaving him looking somewhat lost entering the summer break. The time off did him a world of good as he reset and refreshed, allowing him to impress late in the year. A particular highlight was Singapore, where he qualified and finished inside the top 10, as well as enjoying an on-track battle with Verstappen.

If Kvyat can continue his late-season progression through 2017, then he should be able to prove he is still one of F1’s brightest young prospects. Alas, with Pierre Gasly waiting to step up to F1 under the Red Bull umbrella, Kvyat will know that his future may lie outside of its setup.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

It was hard not to feel for Daniil Kvyat this season, because in one year he was the embodiment of how quickly you can go from being one of the hottest young prospects to discarded as quickly as yesterday’s lunch. 

Kvyat’s first-lap shenanigans in Shanghai and Sochi produced different results. The Shanghai fightback at least resulted in a podium while Sochi, his home race, produced enough of a gap for Red Bull to pull the trigger on the driver swap between him and Max Verstappen. That, inevitably, sapped his confidence for the rest of the year. 

But Kvyat did produce enough fight back as the year progressed. A particularly good run at Singapore stood out. It was just always going to be difficult to score points given the power deficiency at Toro Rosso this year, and Sainz’s otherworldly year made Kvyat’s look all the more ordinary. With one more year ahead in 2017, Kvyat at least has a shot to surprise once again.

GoDaddy to sponsor Patrick in ‘Danica Double’ at Daytona, Indy — now all she needs are rides

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By The Associated Press

Danica Patrick is going back to green.

GoDaddy Green, to be exact – a fitting color for her farewell tour.

The company will sponsor Patrick in the upcoming “Danica Double” that will close out her racing career, The Associated Press has learned. Patrick has no ride yet for next month’s Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500 in May, but she now has the financial backing to pull it off.

This time around, the original GoDaddy Girl will symbolize the new core mission of the company that helped make her one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.

“There’s this great story: I left IndyCar with GoDaddy on my car, I started NASCAR with GoDaddy on my car, I’m most recognized as the GoDaddy green car and driver, and so to finish up my career that way feels appropriate,” Patrick told the AP from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her final race will be the Indy 500, an appropriate choice because it was “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” that rocketed Patrick and GoDaddy into pop culture notoriety.

GoDaddy and Patrick grew up together. The company switched series with her and marketed her as a strong, sexy woman in 13 Super Bowl commercials – a record appearance for celebrities. Now, the company is most interested in Patrick the budding businesswoman who is firmly closing the door on her racing career and rebranding herself as an entrepreneur . She has a book out, an apparel line, a wine label and confirmed to AP this week that she’s dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Our goals are so well-aligned,” Barb Rechterman, the chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told AP. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their `side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”

Prepare to hear a lot about the “side hustle” as GoDaddy climbs aboard the so-far fledgling “Danica Double.”

Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career with the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, but didn’t have a deal completed for either race. Still doesn’t. Yet somehow, Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. Talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about a possible ride, and late last month, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons and asked about a reunion.

GoDaddy has rebranded since it last teamed with Patrick. The company now touts itself as “the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures,” and there’s no better spokeswoman than Patrick, who is in the next chapter of her life and her brand.

GoDaddy pulled out of racing after the 2015 season, and Patrick hasn’t had the same level of funding and marketing support since. Patrick has slowly reshaped her image, first into a Instagram model and is now a full-blown lifestyle guru. She realized – at the age of 35 – she was on her own.

She and GoDaddy aligned for a splashy move into NASCAR, where she was glamorous off the track but only mediocre on it. Through all of this, she was married, divorced, spent five years dating fellow driver and competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and then seemed to find herself through a tailored diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

She is cutting the cord on racing after Indy, and her focus is on a sense of well-being far away from the track.

“Their business is so perfectly paired to what is going on with mine, so when we sat down and met, it was like, `Let’s talk about our business. Let’s talk about the messaging. How does this work?”‘ Patrick said. “And this is undeniably perfect for both of us. Not only is it a huge two races and the biggest two races of the year, but on top of that, you have so much `side hustle’ going on, and all the messaging and our brands, and where we are going is so perfectly paired.”w

GoDaddy can help Patrick move on to whatever it is for racing’s former “It Girl.” The company will help her streamline her online presence. Patrick, for the company, is back as a neon green-and-yellow symbol to all the wannabe entrepreneurs chasing dreams.

She’ll get those rides, too. Patrick said she knows she will because she believes she will.

“That’s just the way the universe works,” she said. “You have to ask for what you want. Things have taken a long time with this, but you just have to go with the flow on these things. The universe is not on your time schedule.”

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org/