It’s been an incredible 12 months for Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. The 20-year-old Russian has gone from racing in GP3, generally regarded as the third tier on the ladder to F1, to securing a drive with Red Bull Racing, the team that had won the last four world championships until 2014.
Kvyat’s debut season in F1 has been an impressive one, even if it hasn’t yielded a huge number of points. His performances have been good enough to secure him a drive at Red Bull for 2015 after Sebastian Vettel exercised his option to walk away from the team at the end of the season.
In fact, it was only at last year’s United States Grand Prix that Kvyat first took part in an F1 weekend session, running in FP1 for Toro Rosso in Austin. So how have things changed for him?
“It’s only one year since my debut here,” Kvyat said on Thursday in Austin. “It seems like not such a long period but many things have happened. Everything is happening fast, but I think it’s better than it happening slow.
“F1 teaches you everything in the fast and hard way. After a lot of races this year, I think I did mature in some way.”
Kvyat feels that, as with any racing series, he has been learning right the way through his debut Formula 1 season.
“Of course, in any category you have something to learn – in F1 as well,” he said. “In every category things like tires, fuel consumption, just driving the car more on the limit because it’s a different car.
“The same happened for me in F1. I just had to come here and learn all the details of this championship and do my best job. It’s looking quite okay.”
The Circuit of the Americas is a favorite track for many drivers, and Kvyat also likes the layout in Austin despite the immense challenge being posed.
“It’s cool. The first section is very flowing, very interesting, lots of high-speed corners,” he said. “Then there is a bit more of a twisty last sector where you have to be careful and not good too hard on everything.
“It’s very easy to overdrive. It’s an interesting track with an interesting layout. I enjoyed driving here last year and I will this year as well.”