As a Red Bull backed driver in the same era, Daniil Kvyat took a similar path to Formula One as his current teammate Carlos Sainz Jr, albeit a slightly faster one which gave him opportunities the Spaniard has yet to face.
He started his car racing career in Formula BMW, first in the Pacific series and then in the European version, where he finished 10th. It did mean that he could make the transition to Formula Renault, again alongside with Carlos Sainz Jr, it was a best of third place in 2011, and fifth in the New Zealand based Toyota Racing Series in the winter.
Another season in Formula Renault 2.0 in 2012 saw him finish second and changed series again (alongside Carlos Sainz Jr) to GP3 for the 2013 season. It was his most successful to date winning the championship with three wins, while also competing in Formula 3 for Carlin. It was an impressive string of results in both series, earning him the jump to Toro Rosso in Formula One.
His teammate for the season was highly rated Jean-Eric Vergne, and the Russian scored points on his debut in 9th – Vergne a position ahead. Always at the lower end of the top ten, it was Vergne who would end the season ahead on points, but despite that was overlooked in favour of Kvyat to replace Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, himself replacing the Red Bull bound Daniel Riccairdo.
It was a patchy season in 2015 for Kvyat, although scored his first podium at the Hungarian Grand Prix and it was enough to outscore Ricciardo by three points. 2016 didn’t start as well for the Russian, attacked especially by an every increasing desperate Sebastian Vettel for erratic driving. A podium in China would be his last before being demoted to Toro Rosso in a straight swap with Max Verstappen.
It wasn’t a great season from then for Kvyat, lacking confidence until the summer break. Some form returned at the end of the year, and was enough to convince Red Bull to keep him for 2017, although Red Bull rookie and GP2 champion Pierre Gasly is waiting in the wings if results don’t appear.