Daniil Kvyat believes the 2017 Formula 1 season will be an interesting one, with him going up against Carlos Sainz Jr.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had a difficult 2016 season after he was demoted from Red Bull Racing after a poor performance at the Russian Grand Prix that saw him collide twice with the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull made the decision to demote him and replaced him with Max Verstappen, who then partnered Daniel Ricciardo for the remainder of the season.
Kvyat finished the 2015 season three points clear of Ricciardo in seventh, but after four races was behind him by fifteen points, although he did take Red Bull’s first podium finish of 2016 in China. The Russian believes his performances matched that of Ricciardo during their 23 races as team-mates.
“I obviously worked with Daniel, he’s a top driver and I feel like I was there with him,” said Kvyat to Autosport. “I was a bit less consistent, maybe a bit less understanding of the car and less experience.”
This move down the grid had a big impact on Kvyat, who took a long time to settle back into the sister team, where he partnered high rated Sainz. Over the course of their seventeen races together, he was outperformed by the Spaniard, with the Spaniard ending the season on 46 points, while Kvyat only score four points back at Toro Rosso.
Kvyat believed Sainz had the upper hand over him, as the car suited him very well. But heading into the 2017 season, the Russian is excited as he believes it will be interesting to go against Sainz.
“What Carlos feels right now is that he’s made the car work for him,” said Kvyat. “After the first three races, the car suited him very well and when I came I was completely out of the window with the car.
“He was on a very high level and a consistently high level so knew he would be very hard to beat. When I’m in my window it becomes very close. I am very excited about next year because it will be interesting to go against Carlos.”