12 months ago, the trajectory of Daniil Kvyat’s Formula 1 career changed dramatically when a first-lap clash with Sebastian Vettel in Russia spelled the end of his time at Red Bull.
Two hits with the Ferrari driver prompted Red Bull to send Kvyat back to Toro Rosso, it’s B-team in F1, and promote young protege Max Verstappen to its senior team.
The incident had a profound impact on Kvyat, who spent the remainder of the 2016 season trying to regain his form, but he did enough to clinch another year with Toro Rosso f0r 2017.
Ahead of his home race in Russia this weekend, Kvyat has faced questions about the incident with Vettel, but played a largely straight bat, simply saying to reporters on Thursday: “I prefer to look ahead than behind.”
However, Kvyat did offer a playful nod to his surprising rivalry with Vettel last year by unveiling his helmet design for the race in Russia, featuring a torpedo – the nickname Vettel gave him in China, one race before their clash.
Vettel told Kvyat that he “came in like a torpedo” at the first corner in China last year, forcing the Ferrari driver wide and into the path of teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Kvyat was non-plussed about the incident, saying they didn’t crash so everything was OK.
While Kvyat may have hit the podium that day, it did prove to be another step towards the exit at Red Bull Racing – but on Sunday, he will have the home crowd in Sochi behind him, torpedo helmet and all.