Team mate battles 2020: The final score – Gasly vs Kvyat

2020 F1 season review

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Pierre Gasly claimed AlphaTauri’s stand-out result of the season by far with a fortuitous but superbly-taken Italian Grand Prix victory.

It was a fitting reward for the driver who was decisively the quickest in AlphaTauri’s line-up this year. Daniil Kvyat made clear progress over the course of the 17 races, and was much more at ease with the AT01 over the final rounds, though it seems to have come too late to prevent him losing his seat for the 2021 F1 season.

That shock win for Gasly at round eight, the half-way point in the season, propelled him onto 43 points at a time when his team mate had scored just four. Kvyat looked on course for another of the heavy defeats he took from Carlos Sainz Jnr after returning to the team (previously known as Toro Rosso) from Red Bull in 2016.

To Kvyat’s credit, he persevered and started to see the fruits of his efforts. Fortune turned his way at Imola where a technical problem ended Gasly’s race early in one of the team’s most competitive weekends. But Kvyat took full advantage with a superb restart, sweeping past Charles Leclerc and chasing Daniel Ricciardo for the final podium position.

Gasly scored a shock win at Monza
Gasly was dependably the quicker of the two in qualifying, managing 12 appearances in Q3 to his team mate’s four. But as the graph below illustrates, Kvyat chipped away at his deficit all year and out-qualified Gasly in both the final races.

There were two consequences of Gasly’s comfortable margin of superiority on Saturdays. Given how tight the midfield was, it often translated into a gain of several starting positions over his team mate. It also meant Gasly had to start on used tyres more often than Kvyat, though he usually overcame this disadvantage imposed by the rules.

With AlphaTauri sizing up Yuki Tsunoda for a 2021 seat, Kvyat needed to demonstrate he was worth keeping, as Gasly is already confirmed in the team’s line up for next year. Kvyat’s demeanour over the final races suggested he already knew his late-season rally had been too little too late.

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Positive gap: Pierre Gasly was ahead; Negative gap: Daniil Kvyat was ahead

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Race-by-race results summary: Gasly and Kvyat

Daniil KvyatQ
Pierre GaslyQ

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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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16 comments on “Team mate battles 2020: The final score – Gasly vs Kvyat”

  1. Gasly really the kind of driver mastering those Pirelli medium or hard tyres and in so doing blasting through the field with his Nascar-strategist Hamelin !

    1. @jeff1s I don’t get the Nascar reference.

      1. @jerejj It was a reference to Nascar driver Denny Hamlin, as Gasly’s race engineer lastname is Hamelin.

  2. Gasly definitely shined this year, but Kvyat also raised his game. A solid midfielder that most likely would have a place in F1 if there were more than 20 seats available.

    1. Or if we threw out the likes of Latifi and Mazepin

      1. To be honest, Latifi isn’t something special. And we have over 90 days to find out Mazepin’s true behaviour.

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      15th December 2020, 17:50

      There are 17 seats available.

      1. Its depends on which academy you’re from, if any. Or how much money you bring.

        For Kvyat there would be 16 (Stroll, Mazepin, Latifi, Giovinazzi’s all deducted), for Magnussen its 12, for Giovinazzi and Perez it’s 13 (Perez did opt not to take that 13th and final seat due to it being non-competitive).

        Hence a reason we are losing better drivers these past few years.

    3. Definately, if this was 2010 for instance, Kvyat would be a great addition to one of those ultra-small teams like Lotus, Virgin and HRT. Sure he’s not top-team material but he is fast and experienced enough to score some good results here and there (Germany 2019 P3, Imola 2020 P4).

  3. I think neither driver really impressed while Gasly was very quick in qualifying, he was nothing impressive in the races except his win in Italy. Kvyat, unfortunately was just mediocre with some good performances towards the end. They are both a long way of the best drivers. We will see how Tsunoda does against Gasly because he is incredibly impressive in the junior categories, he might come out with a huge surprise against Gasly next season and maybe even be promoted to RB right away.

  4. A great season by Gasly, who, if he hadn’t already had some time in a redbull would have had everyone shouting “give that man a redbull drive”. I think Gasly will go the way of Sainz, get other offers and go on his way. He had only 12 races with redbull and did no worst than Albon and shined brighter at the b-team than Albon ever did. Stand out driver for me this season along with Perez.

    1. Ibalso agree with the folk above me, that in another time kvyat would have been offered a seat elsewhere. Shame that illot couldn’t have raced alongside kimi at alfa and that kvyat couldn’t have raced alongside schumacher at haas.

  5. Gasly really owned Kvyat this season. I don’t think Kvyat was particularly poor, but he really didn’t have any highs or exceptional performances this season. Gasly on the other hand punched way above the cars weight on multiple occasions, and was fighting consistently for points against midfield cars that more often than not were quicker than the Alpha Tauris.
    Hats off to Gasly, he’s rebounded really well since being dropped from the parent team.

  6. @kaiie – Gasly impressed me too, one of my top 3 drivers of the season. Not sure a seat at Red Bull would be good for him, but I think @broke84 is right – a move to another strong team could be good for him/the team.

    However, there are many strong drivers and not many seats in top teams!

    I look forward to seeing Gasly next season, his demotion from RedBull must have been painful, so his great follow-up season and shock win were a great boost. Top lad.

  7. Again the Alpha Tauri is a better car than people give it credit for. Still one of the best/easiest driven and brings a strong package – perhaps with better drivers they could have been that tad more competitive to mix more with three from the midfield.
    Still it was a great job by Gasly and he really put in a performance that would warrant a future in F1. He have improved in some of the areas that were his biggest issues at Red Bull – overtaking for one, complaining another. He looks to be more at ease at Alpha Tauri. I look forward for him to be paired up with Tsunoda next year to see how he really do compete since it will be another type of challenge than Kvyat. Tsunoda will need time to acclimate, but can become a bigger menace than Kvyat was.

  8. I think Gasly had a stellar year in 2020. So often we saw him drive in the higher positions, well above what one would expect of a car ending up 7th in the Championship. But notwithstanding that I think Red Bull is right in leaving him at Alpha Tauri to develop further (personally I would have liked to see him at Renault next to Alonso). He could still be a future top driver for any team.

    Kvyat wrote his own farewell letter early in the season. He sporadically performed better, and when his performance improvements became more regular it was too late in the season to save his career.

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