Kvyat hoping for F1 comeback in 2022 as Tsunoda closes on AlphaTauri debut

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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Daniil Kvyat expects he will not be on the grid for the 2021 F1 season and is hoping to return with another team in the future.

AlphaTauri confirmed earlier this year Kvyat’s team mate Pierre Gasly will drive for them again next year. However no role for Kvyat at the team has been announced.

Yuki Tsunoda, who finished the Formula 2 season as the highest-placed rookie last weekend, is widely expected to gain promotion to AlphaTauri in 2021. The 20-year-old, who is part of Red Bull’s Junior Team, tested an F1 car for the first time at Imola last month.

Kvyat equalled his second-best finish of the season with seventh place in yesterday’s Sakhir Grand Prix, but indicated he does not expect to be back in F1 next year.

“It’s a tough sport,” said Kvyat. “The competition here is tough, also the politics are in play. It’s normal, I can accept it after many years around here.

“It’s very good that I managed to show this very strong weekend now, at the end of the year, so that it’s fresh in people’s memory and I can have a go to come back with somebody in 2022.

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“I still feel like I have a lot to give to Formula 1. I know that if an opportunity comes I will be able to fight for a world championship, that’s for sure. So it’s just about timing. Sometimes timing was great in my career. Sometimes it was very poor.”

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
Kvyat ran as high as fifth in yesterday’s race but slipped back after making a pit stop shortly before the final Safety Car period, which allowed others to get ahead of him.

“Unfortunately the luck wasn’t there,” said Kvyat on Sunday evening. “Just the timing. Not luck, even, just timing. Some other guys, they risked, we didn’t even have a chance to risk, really. We had to follow our plan.

“It was a very strong race, I think the strongest race of the year for me. Yesterday was the strongest qualifying of the year for me and today the strongest race of the year. So I’m very happy with my driving.

“Of course, when you see Racing Point winning and Renault on the podium and we know we’ve been quicker or there with them, I feel a bit disappointed in a way not to be there, not to have opportunities to fight for it. But we did everything right. It was one of those days where it just didn’t work but we still did a solid job to bring home solid points.”

Tsunoda won last weekend’s Formula 2 feature race from pole position and added another podium finish in the final event. He ended the season third in the championship and won the Anthoine Hubert trophy for being the top rookie in the standings.

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2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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33 comments on “Kvyat hoping for F1 comeback in 2022 as Tsunoda closes on AlphaTauri debut”

  1. A consistent Kvyat in the second part of the season, but Tsusoda is full of promises and very surgical.

    I though I enjoy watching The Torpedo in action in other motorsport categories.

  2. Good luck with that. At present, there are some open seats for 2022, although the competition for those seats in F1 is high, so won’t be easy for him.

  3. I think Kvyat has actually been pretty decent this year. Certainly deserves a place on the grid more than a few others do…

  4. I can’t see it happening unfortunately. He’s very likable, but clearly not as fast as Gasly, who already compared poorly to Verstappen… in a game which is all about reputation. There are a number of other drivers I’d personally give a second chance before turning to Kvyat.

    That said, he’s put in some excellent performances in the second half of the year: namely Imola and Sakhir, as well as some quieter good performances.

    1. If I’d a team for next year and both Perez and Kvyat would be free agents it would have to be a proper statement from someone if I would choose Kvyat over Perez. I’m afraid Kvyat’s name will be forgotten in a few months.

    2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      7th December 2020, 18:14

      @ben-n Kvyat also experienced the pressure cooker that is Redbull against a faster teammate in Ricciardo and the less than silver tongue of Helmut Marco. The Redbull system is a driver breaker and although has brought Seb, Daniel and the rest through, they recruited Max quite late on. He’s not really a Redbull product and could have easily been a Merc driver instead. Marco’s system appears to be flagging, especially when compared to the Ferrari young driver academy coupled with girls on track. They have one driver in Max that they throw all the rest at. Marco needs to modernise and adapt to the current reality. Horner and Mateschitz seem to have recognised what is happening and are treating Albon differently. (Not sure that’s the right driver to start with though!) McLaren went through similar phases with several drivers after Lewis left. Can’t help thinking if they’d given Checo more time what could have been ( but then again Whitmarsh managed to turn a brilliant car with poor reliability into a poor car with average reliability so point is moot!)
      Buemi, Kvyat, Gasly, even JEV are all great drivers. Redbull could have given any of them a little time and they would have been reliable second drivers. They’ve got themselves stuck in a cul de sac now with Albon. I have no sympathy! They lost Ricciardo because of internal politics. No sympathy!

      1. + 1 I agree @davewillisporter.

        Ever since Vettel left they have treated most of their drivers pretty poorly one way or another. Even Ricciardo who is top class driver they could not keep hold of. All for the sake of the of elevating Verstappen who has everything his own way.

        The other thing is Helmut Marko comes across as a deeply unpleasant individual. Then Horner spouts rubbish most of the time and it regularly economical with the truth shall we say. Max is a strong, talented driver but I really don’t like the way the team behaves.

  5. It really is a shame that there are not more seats available in F1. There are probably half a dozen drivers who have made a strong enough case for a place on the grid based on past performance but there is just no space for them. The sport is likely to lose three decent drivers from this year’s line-up including yesterday’s race winner.

    1. @phil-f1-21 Four actually (Kvyat, Magnussen, Grosjean, and either Perez or Albon). I agree with you, though. Having one or two more teams would, of course, hand out two or four more drivers, but having more teams wouldn’t be worth it unless the additional were competitive enough not to merely be moving chicanes like in 2010-2012.

      1. Heh, I’m rewatching old races and just started the 2010 season. Completely forgot how bad it was with some of the back-markers; literally happy with completing a couple of laps. I know it’s a lot easier said than done but there has to be a middle ground between that and the entry point we do have right now.

      2. @phil-f1-21 @jerejj

        I am surprised by your sentiments. Sure, Perez, yes. Proven track record. Excellent driver and consistent. Crazy if he doesn’t find his way back to the grid but I wouldn’t be shocked either. That is F1.

        There is a warm corner in my heart for especially Kvyat but also Magnussen and Grosjean, but they are not fantastic drivers. They’ve had ample opportunity to show something very special and to show consistency and there might have been glimmers of the former but certainly not the latter. I’d also love more teams in F1 but to fill the seats with these guys over some of the new talent emerging from the junior series would, in my opinion, be a massive shame.

  6. Let’s be honest as a home viewing expert who sees what he learns and learns what he reads. It is my opinion that Kvyat came to the sport as a Grand Prix in Russia was important. Often a good driver from a nation gets a seat that hosts an upcoming F1 event. His time has come and now gone. He simply has filled a spot on the grid and has had little real success. The same for his nations Grand Prix. Nothing but a big slotcar track. You don’t have a chance if you can’t get your guide into that slot.
    I have nothing against the guy except he had his chance and couldn’t amount to much. Now it’s time for young money and another teenager.
    This process is normal for Formula One because their are many kids dreaming big. Many hoping and if they have money they may have a chance (watch the 2021 Haas program). So it’s time for Kvyat to do the walk. Walk right out of town.
    He came, he didn’t conquer, he didn’t win and now he’s at the end of this career. You raced and you were given the chance. Now you can walk away with apparent good health. Roman for example will deal with his burns for years.
    So thank you I’ve enjoyed your efforts but it’s time to move on and start living life outside the seat.

    1. Kvyat came to the sport as a Grand Prix in Russia was important.

      Red Bull does not pick their drivers for such reasons. He was decent in junior categories already being a member of Red Bull junior programme, lived in Italy since his childhood years and has little to none connection to russian oligarchs, unlike Markelov or Mazepin for example.

      1. Hopefully Mazepin never makes it to F1, that guy is a rolling hazard. Watching him in F2 regularly has me shaking my head.

    2. Just like saying Takuma Sato would know Suzuka like the back of his hands when in reality he never raced there until he raced there with and F1 team. It is easy to sit in your living room and arrive and wild conclusions.

  7. If he comes back from not having a seat, again, he’ll be F1’s Highlander…
    A lot of drivers bounced back once (Prost, Raikkonen, Alonso, himself…), but twice?
    There’ll be another Russian, so…

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      7th December 2020, 19:58

      Jos Verstappen

  8. I’ve never been a fan of Kvyat, but I’d much rather see him in F1 than Mazepin, that’s for sure.

    1. @netm Mazepin is already becoming F1’s most unpopular figure and he hasn’t even driven a race yet.

  9. What would be the scenario for Albon then if both Perez and Tsunoda are confirmed?

    1. A year in Super Formula perhaps?

      1. Yeah, but how ill he ever find his way back to F1? Maybe if Gasly moves on to Renault

        1. Ambrogio Isgro
          8th December 2020, 14:26

          Depend on how Perez (or Hulkenberg) do against Verstappen and Tsunoda against Gasly.

  10. I admire confidence in a driver, but … “I know that if an opportunity comes I will be able to fight for a world championship, that’s for sure.”
    Oooff!! no.

  11. I think Redbull just use him as a reference for their drivers but absolutely do not focus on his needs. He was performing a lot better than Albon or Gasly before he got shafted from the Redbull team on a pretext.
    Redbull just wrecked his promising career.

    1. To me it feels like a lot of drivers have been casualties to RedBull pushing Max to the number 1 of the team. Kvyat, Sainz, Ricciardo, Gasly and Albon have all been affected in one way or another. I wish Perez a seat next year, just a pity it is RedBull as I don’t think its a very hospitable environment. I do think Kvyat has something to offer but what team has a need for him?

  12. Kvyat should have gotten the Red Bull promotion instead of Albon. Then Albon could have matured more at AlphaTauri in the meantime.

  13. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    7th December 2020, 18:25

    Redbull’s problems right now are down to mis-management of drivers. In a couple of years Tsunoda will be well deserving of a seat in the top team but if Max is still there are they going to repeat these mistakes?
    Masterclass in how to handle talent. Rob Smedley and Massa at Ferrari. Rob was asked to engineer Massa because he wasn’t performing as Ferrari expected. Rob discovered Massa was convinced he had to beat Schumi or he’d lose the seat. 1st race with Massa, Rob explained that contrary to Massa’s belief, beating Schumi would probably annoy Todt not endear Massa to him. Massa calmed down. Because of Rob’s management Massa nearly won a WDC. Without him, Massa would likely have continued to be a stressed out bundle of badly performing nerves and would likely have lost his seat.
    As a team, I love seeing Redbull getting stuck in and nicking results from Merc. As driver managers, they are woeful. They could have kept Ricciardo if they weren’t so bad at it.

  14. José Lopes da Silva
    7th December 2020, 20:01

    Another chapter of Red Bull as the evil, in spite of giving 4 seats based on merit.

    While there are 3 seats literally owned or perenially bought (When will Latifi replace Bottas??) due to F1’s strained business model.

    1. On the other hand, there will be those who would point out that Red Bull itself has also been a contributor to the financial problems that have strained the sport in that way.

      Furthermore, there is the question over whether such driver programmes do also have a downside of cutting down on the routes for independent drivers to enter the sport – if you’re not a pay driver and you don’t want to sign up to a junior driver programme, then your options are more limited these days than they were in the past.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        9th December 2020, 10:28

        “Red Bull itself has also been a contributor to the financial problems that have strained the sport in that way.” You make a good point there. Although, anyway, they have saved Minardi from bankruptcy.
        Eventually we will find that ever since Ecclestone took control out of FISA hands, there would be no way back for Formula 1 to have a centralised system football. In fact, even football, although firmly held by FIFA, is crumbling to money power.

        “you don’t want to sign up to a junior driver programme” – why a driver wouldn’t? Junior programmes are “de facto” ladder categories.

  15. Something alot of people seem to keep forgetting is that Kvyat outscored Ricciardo in 2015 and was still getting decent results in 2016 before Red Bull demoted him to Toro Rosso. Red Bull are the spirit-breakers when it comes to driver management. Kvyat hasn’t been the same since, but he’s doing a solid job at Alpha Tauri. i just think he’d be better off at a non-Red Bull team. I could see him at Alpha Romeo once Raikkonen retires or at Williams once Russell gets moved to Merc.

  16. I don’t think he will ever come back…

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