Team: Toro Rosso
Car No.: 26
Best Finish: P9 (Australia and Spain)
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 19th
Red Bull’s decision to keep Daniil Kvyat on at Formula 1 B-team Toro Rosso for 2017 seemed surprising when it was announced late last year, but it was widely recognized it would constitute a last chance for the Russian.
Following his demotion in 2016, Kvyat had struggled to gather his head and find his form. It was hoped the flashes of brilliance we had seen thus far in his F1 career could become more regular after a winter to collect himself and recover – but things did not go to plan.
Despite runs to ninth place in Australia and Spain in the early part of the season, Kvyat quickly slipped into another rut as he went some four months without points, leading to his dropping after an embarrassing crash in Singapore when a top-10 finish looked likely. It wasn’t even possible to blame his lack of form on the car, for teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. was proving to be a regular fixture in the top 10.
Kvyat was brought back for the United States Grand Prix after Pierre Gasly, his replacement, had to miss the race due to a Super Formula clash. Kvyat ironically put in his best performance of the year in Austin, driving a perfect race to P10, but with Brendon Hartley now in the picture, his days were numbered.
Kvyat’s dismissal from the Red Bull program will now give him the freedom to find his feet in motorsport again and embark on a new challenge. It’s likely that will be found outside of F1 next year.
He may have enjoyed his headline moments, such as in China 2016, but Kvyat ultimately has not been good enough. The standout stat is that under F1’s old points system, he would never have scored a point for Toro Rosso.
And that’s not the top-six scoring points, used up to 2003. That’s under the top eight scoring in the system that was used until 2010…
Season High: A perfect run to 10th in Austin, even if it was too little too late.
Season Low: An embarrassing crash in Singapore when easy points were on the table.