Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, Young Drivers' Test, 2013

Kvyat gains superlicence ahead of practice runs

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, Young Drivers' Test, 2013Daniil Kvyat has completed the necessary running to gain an F1 superlicence ahead of his planned practice appearances at the final two races of the season.

Kvyat logged 102 laps of the Misano circuit in Italy – over 400 kilometres – in a 2011-spec Toro Rosso STR6 on Friday. He therefore qualifies for a superlicence which he requires to make his planned debut for the team next year.

The 19-year-old will also participate in the first practice session at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday, driving Jean-Eric Vergne’s car. He will take Daniel Ricciardo’s place in first practice at the season finale in Brazil the week after.

Kvyat won the GP3 championship during the Abu Dhabi race weekend.

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

32 comments on “Kvyat gains superlicence ahead of practice runs”

  1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    11th November 2013, 13:47

    Do you not think this is something of a knee-jerk from Red Bull? Kvyat has put together some brilliant performances in the past few rounds of GP3, but before that he was rather anonymous. This really doesn’t make sense to me. Kvyat was rather ordinary in the Young Driver Test, whilst Da Costa and particularly Sainz excelled. I guessed that Da Costa’s path to Toro Rosso was under threat because of this delay, but I thought they were evaluating Sainz, who at least has more than one season’s worth of experience of higher powered single seaters. I also don’t think Red Bull can look at Da Costa’s 2013 campaign and think that it is at all representative of his talents, especially since Arden Caterham have repeatedly been saying that they can’t get the car back in the window they had it in last year, and with setup being utterly paramount this year in FR3.5, I think Red Bull can only congratulate Da Costa for still managing to win three times, despite effectively having one hand behind his back. And doesn’t the fact that Da Costa was right up there with Ricciardo’s Red Bull pace at Silverstone this year rather demean the argument that there was anything other than a tangible reason for Da Costa’s lackluster season? I never thought I’d say this regarding Red Bull with all their money and might, but this is clearly a commercially motivated decision, and is building on the “WE NEED A RUSSIAN AT THE RUSSIAN GP (which actually might not happen)!” fever. I can only imagine that the conversation in which Red Bull decided to go with Kvyat looked like this…

    OK, we need to choose a driver to go to Toro Rosso.

    Who’s winning at the moment in the Red Bull Young Driver Programme?

    Daniil Kvyat.

    Sign him then.

    Don’t get me wrong, Kvyat is a mighty fine driver, but it is way too early to be promoting him to F1. He needed at least one season in FR3.5, so he gets some kind of experience of F1ish power, and let’s remember GP3 is a huge power jump from his previous series anyway. Just like Sirotkin, premature promotion looks set to ruin the chances of another Russian driver, and that really is a shame, because at times over the past few rounds of GP3, you could be mistaken for thinking we had some kind of megastar on our hands with Kvyat. But the fact that his first races of his F1 career will inevitably be judged on the inevitable toils of a driver thrown in at the deep end seems a little unfair to me.

    1. time will tell, @william-brierty
      at least Kvyat is winning the championship, while Sirotkin…

      1. @adityafakhr Sirotkin is covering the payrole.

      2. @adityafakhri – Try and look past the results as they appear on paper. Sirotkin spent a lot of time racing da Costa wheel-to-wheel this year, but had some rotten luck, particularly with mechanical retirements.

    2. @william-brierty Tost mentioned that they were impressed by Kvyat’s feedback to engineers and DaCosta and Sainz weren’t as convincing in that area. I tend to agree that his promotion probably comes a year too early – but I’d give RB the benefit of a doubt – Marko is pushy and he is ruthless but so far they did a good job with their YD-program. I’m more concerned about Sriotkin since he will feel the pressure much earlier if he gets the seat.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        11th November 2013, 16:04

        @tmf42 – I haven’t heard Tost say that, although I have Da Costa being repeatedly praised on his technical feedback, and because Ricciardo’s excellent feedback at the Young Driver Test earlier this year was arguably a factor that got him the Red Bull drive, it certainly seems that you are right in citing that as an increasingly crucial factor in signing a driver. However Tost also ruled Kvyat out as a possible for the drive shortly after the test, so let’s assume that he’s not in favour of Kvyat’s signing and is essentially having words put in his mouth.

        Regarding Marko, I most emphatically disagree that he is doing “a good job”. He ruined the career of a promising young driver in Jaime Algersuari through premature promotion, and looks set to do it again with Kvyat. The Red Bull driver programme is a car-crash. Not only does it ignore fast young drivers without budgets like Frijns, but it also puts drivers in super high pressure scenarios and is surprised when they struggle to perform. These guys are not much older than teenagers, and some of them are thousands of miles away from home. They need a sympathetic backer, not an overly opinionated, elderly German slave driver.

        1. @william-brierty Regarding Frijns, I thought the situation was that Frijns did not want to be part of the Red Bull driver programme. The idea of having such a program is not to cover the bills, but to give upcoming talent a chance in motorsports without having to worry so much about paying the bills.

          Not sure if Marko is doing a good job or a bad job. But apparently he’s supported in what he does and how he does it by his employer. Making it to the top is hard, very hard. And when you make it to Formula 1, you either make it or break it. Speaking strictly within the Red Bull programme there’s basically only one seat you want to go for, and that’s the official Red Bull team. If you’re not good enough, you’re not going to make it. Was it unfair what happened to Alguersuari? Maybe, maybe not. The timing when they told him there was no place could’ve been better probably, but was he really good enough? Probably not (if he was, someone else might’ve picked him up). Same goes for Buemi.

          And for the record, Marko is Austrian, not German.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            11th November 2013, 17:36

            @maarten-f1 – What? Frijns was never approached by Red Bull. And if you don’t believe that the Red Bull Young Driver Programme isn’t an elaborate way of making money, then I’m afraid you don’t know about business.

            Making it to the top is hard, and that is why a ladder of series has been designed to introduce drivers to gradually increasing levels of power and downforce. Jumping from British F3 to an F1 car, as Algersuari did, is not something even the very best driver can cope with…unless you’re Raikkonen that is. Throwing a driver in at the deep end, seeing if he can swim, and then being surprised that he struggles is a very bad way to go about selecting a top driver. Vettel had already done FR3.5 when he entered F1 as well as a lot of F1 testing, so had Buemi, so they were well prepared, but to compare Jaime to drivers that had been so much better prepared is so deeply unfair. Algersuari was looking good in the junior categories, all he needed was a season or two in GP2 or FR3.5 and some F1 testing and we could’ve had another Ricciardo on our hands. Because of Marko, Algersuari is banished to tyre testing anonymity.

            p.s. I knew Marko was Austrian I just had a jot of brain-fade.

          2. @william-brierty Frijns has been offered a place in the RB programme not just once, but twice. And both times he turned them down.

            I believe the Red Bull Young Driver Programme is the way to find the next Sebastian Vettel. And they’re being ruthless about it. I don’t know how much freedom drivers have once they make it to Torro Rosso (whether he had the opportunity to move to other teams), but I still stand by the fact that Alguersuari was just not good enough for Formula 1. He has done plenty of racing in junior categories (including FR 3.5), more than Vettel (got that from Wikipedia, which, we all know, is true ;)). I’ll admit that Vettel has had more experience as a test driver, so had a slower entry into Formula 1. But the current rules do not allow for anything else. But when you make it into Formula 1 you make an impression or it’s over. Although sadly, making it in Formula 1 isn’t all about having the talent (or money). It’s also being at the right place at the right time, and then taking that opportunity.

        2. @william-brierty – it was in an interview with Tost a couple of weeks ago. I think it was Autosport but not sure.
          Jaime got 2 and a half seasons in the Torro Rosso but failed to convince, I would agree with you that they burned him if he only had 1 season. Also his reaction doesn’t make him completely innocent over the fall-out he had with RB, but it definitely showed that the program isn’t flawless. And as I said, the promotion comes probably a year too early – though, it remains to be seen.
          However RB gives their juniors more time than any other rookie in other teams gets. If you look how Marussia, Caterham and others handle pay/young drivers then getting to F1 thru a YDP is still the best way to do it.

          Also it’s pretty harsh to label the program a car-crash after it produced a 4 times WDC and demand that they pick up every promising driver like Frijns. All major teams run their own YDPs, so why is it up to RB to pick up the slack? Especially since all their cockpits are filled with drivers they supported for years.

          And one more thing – Marko is Austrian not German.

        3. elderly German slave driver

          @william-brierty : Watch your words there

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            12th November 2013, 8:52

            @noob Or what? The gates of hell will open? Or will Marko scour rural Oxforshire for me just to give me a thoroughly good ticking off? The only thing wrong with that statement is that he is Austrian not German, because lets face it, a certain Aussie has probably called Marko things a lot worse than “slave driver”.

          2. @william-brierty Keith will get the better of you for using offensive language for a F1 driver @keithcollantine

          3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            12th November 2013, 17:04

            @noob What? Now that you are so far removed from reality kindly allow me to continue to argue my perfectly legitimate line without interruption from this pathetic and needless pacifism.

    3. Remember that a lot has to do with timing, had the Toro Rosso seat been available last year they would’ve taken Da Costa no doubt.
      But we now see that he couldn’t maintain that level the following year, I also agree Kvyat’s nationality played a role, but mainly he just got lucky to have such a great season while the others Red Bull juniors disappointed.

    4. @william-brierty

      Red Bull/Toro Rosso have no pressure at the moment as they have Vettel. So they are much happier to take bigger risks than other teams to find a great driver. Sure, Da Costa would have been a good driver. But maybe this season they thought he would not be a great driver after all. So no point in giving him an F1 seat. Kvyat might turn out to be the same as Da Costa, or he might still be considered to become a great driver in a years time.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        12th November 2013, 17:06

        @mike-dee – Yes, but for all the investment Red Bull has put into the programme it probably should’ve found a few more Vettels by now.

    5. Am I the only one thinking Kvyat is more likely to be the next world champ than Magnussen?

      Kvyat impressed in all junior series while Magnussen won the 2013 FR3.5 championship and … that’s all …

      I agree Da Costa would be a more logical choice but I rate Kvyat, Vandoorne and Da Costa all higher than Magnussen who’s gonna drive for McLaren next year …

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        11th November 2013, 17:18


        Am I the only one thinking Kvyat is more likely to be the next world champ than Magnussen?

        Yes, you are.

        1. Kevin Magnussen has totally impressed everuone when he did his F1 tests.
          On his 3rd timed lap he did a time could have given him P6 in qualifying.
          McLaren has tested him a lot in their advanced simulator and the result is he is faster than Perez. McLaren really believes he could be like Lewis Hamilton.

          1. Yeah I agree, Magnussen seems capable of doing some good things at McLaren but I don’t really understand why many here are saying Magnussen is the next Hamilton while Kvyat is the next Alguesari …

      2. @paeschli what I have read about Kvyat is that he is a very capable driver, and very fast one. Hope he does well

    6. Kvyat probably got the nod over Sainz Jr as Sainz Jr’s record in the junior series is weaker than Kvyat’s when you compare the series that they have competed in.
      Asides from the fact that Kvyat beat his team mate – who was none other than Sainz Jr – by 168 points to 66 in GP3 this season, Kvyat was also better in the European F3 series than Sainz Jr was when he competed there. Sainz Jr scored 112 points and finished 9th in the table when he competed in 2012, whilst Kvyat, despite only competing in 21 events to 24 for Sainz Jr, would have scored 158 points and finished 7th if he’d been allowed to keep his points when he raced in that series this year (as a guest driver, he was ineligible for points).

      Sainz Jr might have a bit more experience in a more powerful series – although the difference in performance between a FR3.5 car and a GP3 car has narrowed sharply now that the GP3 cars are putting out over 400bhp – but, against that, Kvyat does have a higher success rate in junior series against Sainz Jr. (more podium finishes and a higher win rate). Overall, I can see why, on the balance of their performances in junior series, Red Bull would take Kvyat over Sainz Jr – Kvyat is statistically the better driver.

      The other question is, if da Costa is supposed to be as good as he is, why was he so low on Red Bull’s list when it came to picking drivers to replace Ricciardo? We know that at least two other drivers were preferred over him – Kvyat got the seat, whilst Vandoorne has revealed that Red Bull offered him a one year contract with Toro Rosso to partner Vergne – so da Costa was, at best, only third on Red Bull’s list for a seat at Toro Rosso.

    7. Well it’s not his fault he did not stay in one category for long :) Just have a look at his wiki page and you will understand why he was chosen in front of your favorites. He was also masterful in karting, where you can’t buy your way to the top as you can do in gp2 or gp3 to certain extend.

  2. I expect him to do OK… but da Costa would have been a better pick.

    GP3 to F1 race seat is too great a step for all but the very best, and I don’t think Kvyat is in that category.

  3. Michael Brown (@)
    11th November 2013, 14:59

    Hopefully Da Costa will make it in F1 when they drop Vergne in a year or two

  4. Well, I was gutted for Da Costa when Kvyat was announced as the second Toro Rosso driver for next year, but I seriously hope that Kvyat can justify why we was chosen and prove that he is up to the task of driving a F1 car and match is team mate on a regular basis. If he does struggle, I can see him being retained anyway. I feel that he is sort of becoming the next Vettel within the Red Bull programme, as he seems to be carried under the wing of Marko and co. in the same way Vettel has always been.

  5. To all people arguing that jumping from GP3 to F1 is bad: look at Bottas, a GP3 world champion just like … Kvyat ;)

    But in fact, I don’t think being good in junior series means you’re good in F1. Look at Vettel, he wasn’t that impressive in junior series but managed to win 4 world championships …

    1. @paeschli Bottas had a year of FP1 sessions in-between. In fact, he took the place of Bruno Senna in every FP1 session that wasn’t on a street circuit IIRC.

      1. @pielighter Yeah, and Kvyat will drive for TR at COTA and Interlagos + pre-season testing will be longer than this year, which is good for Kvyat … I’m sure he will be ready :)

    2. I am not arguing that Kvyat shouldn’t get the seat, but Bottas has hardly done that well, even though the car is a bit of a dog. Maldonado more often than not has the better of him in races. Bottas has barely come close to points.

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