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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.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.