Kvyat joins Ferrari as development driver

2018 F1 season

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Ferrari has hired former Red Bull and Toro Rosso racer Daniil Kvyat to be its new development driver.

The team announced the development in a brief statement posted on its social media outlets: “Daniil Kvyat to become Scuderia Ferrari’s development driver.” It has not given any further details on the move.

Kvyat arrived in Formula One in 2014 with Toro Rosso after winning the GP3 championship. He was promoted to Red Bull following Sebastian Vettel’s departure to Ferrari.

In his first year at Red Bull Kvyat out-scored team mate Daniel Ricciardo but following a difficult start to 2016 he was dropped after just four races.

In his final start for Red Bull, at his home race in Russia, Kvyat collided twice with Vettel on the opening lap, taking the Ferrari driver out of the race. In the previous round Kvyat had scored the second of his two career podium finishes in F1 with third place in the Chinese Grand Prix. His best finish remains second at the Hungaroring in 2015.

Although Kvyat returned to Toro Rosso he struggled alongside Carlos Sainz Jnr who comfortably out-scored him. Kvyat remained part of the team in 2017 but was dropped before the end of the season.

Ferrari’s test drivers last year included Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc. The latter has joined Sauber as a race driver this year while Giovinazzi’s plans for 2018 have not yet been announced.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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58 comments on “Kvyat joins Ferrari as development driver”

  1. Ferrari wanting Red Bull’s secrets? At least the good ones, not the ones where things keep breaking.

    1. Nope, Ferrari starts a special program how to avoid rougue drivers on track. Special during starts..
      They needed a example.

    2. Ferrari have a history picking up young Red Bull drivers for development…

  2. After all this time, funny that it’s Kvyat who announce that Williams is set to confirm Sirotkin next week.

  3. Will he be doing crash tests?

    Sorry, I’ll show myself out…

    1. Kubica and Kachynski did all the crash tests yet!

  4. It’s interesting how it almost seemed as Ferrari and Vettel were the biggest players in Kvyat’s demotion and the ultimate downhill trajectory in his career. I think this guy deserves a chance, and I think Red Bull broke him.
    Hope to see him coming back!

      1. I’m happy for him.

        1. Yes Everyone should get a second chance Brendon Hartley came back from the cold Marko is a hard task master but has to make the tough calls Frans Tost said Kvyat was very quick … Methinks quicker than the Vodka Man….and probably very cheap

    1. @rahnarlsmenves I’m happy that he has this opportunity now aswell.. but people are actually way to harsh on Red Bull’s decision making.
      He was given a chance at Toro Rosso and Red Bull, he didn’t deliver, so they gave him another chance at Toro Rosso again (while they could also choose for Gasly). I would say Red Bull was very patient.
      It will be Interesting how he will do at Ferrari. He is a talented driver, no doubt about that.

    2. +100500

  5. Mr. Torpedo playing ping pong with Mr Blue Flags

    Hands up if you want to be in the first meeting with those two

    1. Yes because Seb is really going to hold a grudge for someone who ran into him a couple of years ago isn’t he…

    2. @johnmilk

      My thoughts exactly. I’d love to see Vettel and Kvyat work together. I can see Vettel complaining every day about how Kvyat doesn’t give good enough feedback to improve the car, and Kvyat will just shrug and say “This is development…”

      Happy Kvyat’s still associated with F1!

  6. Good for him, and I mean it in a non-sarcastic way. I think we can all agree that he’s definitely talented, but has been terrible under pressure. I can picture him being a valuable development driver when that pressure is taken away from him, in addition to getting out of that Red Bull bubble, that seemed to asphyxiate him. I don’t quite see him ever taking a seat in a Ferrari during a race weekend, but maybe he’ll make good use of his new job to come back as a more mature driver. Time will tell if that’s likely to happen.

    1. He’s certainly a better driver than Esteban Gutierrez. Glad he managed to rebound quickly.

  7. I didn’t see this coming at all, LOL. The article headline came as a complete surprise to me.

  8. Ferrari keeps Kvyat without a seat giving him the sim! No more torpedos behind Seb. Smart move! Geniuses! Also they can train him to follow other targets (not red) for Alfa Romeo.

  9. He could still race in FE or WEC as well ..

  10. If Verstappen wants another win in 2018 he’ll have to hope that Kvyat gets dropped from this role ;)

    1. And Hamilton will win in Melbourne 2018.
      (every time Kvyat got promoted, Hamilton won the next race)

      1. @Egonovi Not quite. He didn’t win the 2014 Australian GP nor the 2013 Indian GP (the first race after the confirmation of his Toro Rosso drive for 2014.)

        1. By ‘his’ I was referring to Kvyat.

    2. Ahah, that’s true, was fearing he wouldn’t win any more, notice how red bull suddenly slowed down once kvyat was no longer at toro rosso and once max had won his typical race following kvyat’s demotion.

  11. Hmmm … Maybe Daniel won’t be moving to Ferrari in 2019.

    1. Based on what exactly?

      1. I’m not sure exactly what is meant by “Daniil Kvyat to become Scuderia Ferrari’s development driver.” I assume it means Daniil is to become Ferrari’s Development Driver this year, if so, why wouldn’t he become the Number 2 driver next year?

        1. @drycrust
          I don’t think the position as a ‘development driver’ is in any way related to the perspective of becoming a full-time Ferrari driver. The ‘development’ stands for the development of the car, not for the driver. That was definitely the case for Esteban Gutiérrez, Marc Gené, Giancarlo Fisichella, Luca Badoer, …

          So, we have to turn that question around: Why would he? Based on his pedigree, there’s not a chance in hell they’ll consider him.

          1. and most of them race for ferrari in GT series, which i expect is where we’ll see Danill.

        2. @drycrust, the problem with that is that, by that logic, Jean-Éric Vergne should have been driving for Ferrari by now after he joined them at the start of 2015 (before being replaced by Gutierrez at the start of 2017).

  12. If Kvyat can be signed for Ferrari after that 2017 then it really does prove that no matter how bad things can be that you shouldn’t ever give up hope.

    Honestly I’m pleased for the guy. Hopefully Ferrari can bring out the confidence he lost.

  13. What a way to start the year.

    Ironic that Kvyat is employed as a development driver while that’s the thing Toro Rosso need most right now.

  14. Wow, this came out of the blue ad-literam. A little suspicious move in my opinion. As said above, probably something related to “secrets” and/or… could be related to the Russian auto market?! Starting now, Russians must assault the Ferrari stores and car dealers as never before. Good for him tho.

    1. You dont really suggest car luxury market works quite like this, do you? :)

    2. @mg1982, there is another option – when Vettel moved to Ferrari, I recall that there was a claim that he insisted that Ferrari changed their simulator, especially in terms of the software that it used, to match what he had been using back at Red Bull.

      Given that Kvyat’s role is expected to involve a fair amount of simulator work, I would imagine that, if Vettel did insist on Ferrari changing their set up to be more similar to that of Red Bull, it would probably be quite useful to hire an ex-Red Bull driver who would already be quite familiar with that set up to conduct your simulator testing work.

      1. Afair, Ferrari was using Assetta Corsa (NetKar Pro)

        Few years ago they switched to rFactor Pro. Lite version is available on Steam as well. At some time RBR did use rFactor as well. What are they using now i don’t know.

        1. @regs, I should point out that the versions that you see on Steam are very different to the professional versions – there have been some who have deliberately tried to mislead people by making them think that rFactor 2 is the same as rFactor Pro, but the developers have confirmed that they are major differences between the two and they are not the same product.

          ISI, who were the original developers behind rFactor 2 (before they sold it to Studio 397), don’t even own rFactor Pro – that is owned by a completely separate company (Kangaloosh Limited) – and the capabilities of that software are much more advanced. What Red Bull will have been using is rFactor Pro, which is the one for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), not the version that you see on the Steam store.

          1. Sure as i said – lite version

  15. A shame for Kvyat to end like that but a smart move from Ferrari. Kvyat is bloody quick and has a good amount of experience. He also knows some Red Bull tricks and secret. He never seemed to recover from his errors but he was a match for Sainz so he will probably be a very useful addition to the team.

    1. The best that can be said about this is that it keeps him in and around F1. He can also do other stuff as well. Keeps him busy, which can only be good for him.

  16. Anyone remember Marc Gene terrible race driver but a great development/simulator driver. I hope he can find his mojo again in this role and stop being the crash test dummy!

  17. Well that’s one less name on the list of “possible” drivers at Williams.

    I imagine they should be ready to announce their 2018 line up soon.

    1. Next week according to reports.

      Its Sirotkin – not only due to $$$, but Kubica struggled with one lap pace and the Pirellis.

  18. My heart was filled with sadness when I read this headline. Kvyat needs to keep racing. He has good things to offer. Maybe he is not good enough for F1 – i.e. maybe he is not in the top 30 or 40 racers in the world – but he is still talented. I find it so sad he is becoming a development driver.

  19. What happened to Giovinazzi?

    1. I think he has gone to Formula E for now.

  20. digitalrurouni
    11th January 2018, 13:14

    Get rid of Ericsson bring back Wehrlein and put Kvyat next to him in the Alfa Romeo Sauber cars.

  21. There is some logic in this move. Ferrari tends to be the most conservative, ‘always playing on safe’ team. That’s why they are not winning for such a long time. Vettel was chosen because he has 4 WDC – that is past achievement, not potential. Something they seem to mix up with Kimi as well. Kvyat for development, might have been Massa or Button.. they don’t care as long as you have driven one of these machines before. Well, it’s a strategy. Personally can’t see them winning with it, but hey who knows…

  22. I think he has gone to Formula E for now.

  23. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    11th January 2018, 13:56

    It’s probably better for Kvyat as he’ll collect a paycheck and keep in touch with F1 but I’m not sure how that benefits Ferrari, F1, and the rest of us. I sure hope he doesn’t replace Kimi in one of the Ferraris after he retires. I’m frankly very surprised that he got this position as it’s normally reserved for new talent and you’d expect a team like Ferrari to be very picky in their driver choices. Dani speaks Italian so that might have helped – the only situation I could see as acceptable is if he never gave up in contacting them and Ferrari saw something in his tenacity and drive for the position.

  24. Great news feel happy for him, he deserves a restart.

    Now waiting for the good news for Wehrlein.

  25. He may become the new Kamikaze Kvyat to take out Mercedes and give Ferrari a chance at the Championship.

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