Russian driver Daniil Kvyat has joined Alpine F1 Team as a reserve driver for the 2021 Formula 1 season, joining alongside drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
The experienced driver was released by AlphaTauri at the end of the 2020 F1 season, ending a three-and-a-half-year stay at the team before being replaced by rookie Yuki Tsunoda.
His 2020 season wasn’t the best compared to 2019, finishing fourteenth in the drivers’ championship and thirty-five points behind his team-mate Pierre Gasly, which ultimately made AlphaTauri move the Russian on.
With the Haas F1 Team signing two new rookies and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN sticking with Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi, Kvyat was left without a race seat for the upcoming season. However, the newly re-brand team Alpine announced at their virtual 2021 car launch on Tuesday that Kvyat will join the team as a reserve driver.
The Russian driver will bring a wealth of experience to Alpine, including 110 race starts, 202 points, three podiums and one fastest lap over six seasons.
He is excited to get started at Alpine and help build on their fantastic performances in the past year. Speaking on joining the team, Kvyat said: “I am very excited to join the Alpine F1 Team family. The team has achieved some great results in the past year and is very technologically advanced.
“Development has been strong, and I am aiming to contribute to this positive trend. I will try to bring my experience on and off track to help develop the A521 and future cars as well. As a Reserve Driver you need to keep sharp and I look forward to integrating into the team in several different areas.”
Kvyat made his debut in 2014 as a Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, ranking eight points in his first season to finish fourteenth. He was promoted to Red Bull Racing in 2015 to replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel after he moved to Scuderia Ferrari.
Although he managed to keep his Red Bull seat for the start of the 2016 season, he was demoted back to Toro Rosso and replaced by Max Verstappen after just four races. In his second spell, Kvyat spent three-and-a-half years at AlphaTauri, scoring a further two podiums and finishing as high as thirteenth in 2019.
Laurent Rossi, the CEO at Alpine, said of Kvyat’s appointment: “Throughout his career, Daniil has forged a reputation as a very quick driver, but has also shown great resilience. We are pleased to have yet another determined and talented driver in our ranks as we make our first F1 campaign as Alpine F1 Team.”