Carlos Sainz Jr. says Daniil Kvyat has been one of the most talented drivers he has raced against during his career and it comes at no surprise that the young Russian has been linked with a return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda for the 2019 season.
Should Kvyat, who is a test driver with Scuderia Ferrari this season, return to Toro Rosso, it would be his third spell with the outfit that gave him his debut in the sport as the reigning GP3 Series champion in 2014.
After just a single season, he was promoted to Red Bull Racing in place of the Ferrari-bound Sebastian Vettel, but after being demoted four races into the following season in favour of Max Verstappen, Kvyat returned to Toro Rosso for a second spell, although that ended following a loss of confidence and a lack of results after the United States Grand Prix in 2017.
Sainz was Kvyat’s team-mate for the majority of that second spell but had also spent time competing against the Russian in junior formulae, particularly in 2013 when they were team-mates at MW Arden in GP3, and now the Spaniard, who is bound to race for the McLaren F1 Team next season, has revealed he always expected Kvyat to make a return to Formula 1.
“I do have a bit of a personal feeling [about Kvyat] because I do feel Dany is one of the most talented drivers I’ve ever raced against,” said Sainz to Motorsport.com. “When he left Formula 1, I don’t know why, I had this feeling that he one day he would make it back.
“Every time I’ve been against him in all categories, he sometimes, somehow always finds a way back – back to performance, or back to F1, or back to the category, or back to the Red Bull programme, whatever.”
Sainz revealed that he had told those around him that he expected a revitalised Kvyat back in a Formula 1 seat, and he would be very happy to see the twenty-four-year-old back behind the wheel next season.
“I actually told my manager, I told my dad – ‘I have this feeling that this guy is not over yet, that he is going to come back’,” said Sainz. “And look, it looks like he has a good chance and I would be very happy for him if he does come back.”