Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has praised “mature” Formula 1 rookie Daniil Kvyat, who completed a straight graduation to the sport from the GP3 Series for this season to become F1’s youngest rookie. Despite his age and relative lack of experience, Kvyat has conformably adapted to the fast world of Formula One.
Although experienced Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Verge managed to just out-race Kvyat during the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the tables began to gradually turn throughout the following races in Malaysia, Bahrain and China as the Russian rookie continued to flirt with the points-paying positions and impress many within the paddock.
Despite failing to finish four races at Monaco, Canada, Austria and Germany, Kvyat managed to bounce back in Belgium with another weekend out-performing his French team-mate within Toro Rosso. With Vergne set to be ousted from the Faenza-based outfit next season, due to the arrival of an even younger debutant in the form of Max Verstappen, it is clear that Kvyat has already proved himself as a vital asset to the Red Bull family, despite sitting behind Vergne in the Championship standings with a three point gap.
During the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo praised his replacement at Toro Rosso, referring to him as very mature despite his age. The eventual race winner at Spa-Francorchamps continued with his praise of Kvyat by explaining that he could one day continue his graduation within the Red Bull family by progressing up to Red Bull.
During Ricciardo’s first season with Toro Rosso back in 2012, he only managed to secure ten points all season. With seven races still remaining this year Kvyat has already scored eight points, such is his immediate ability to compete at such a high level of motorsport.
“I think he’s done a great job in the first six months in Formula One,” Ricciardo told the media during the Belgian Grand Prix. “For a young kid he’s very mature, he’s a bit like me very immature but when he needs to be mature he’s very mature [laughs]. He’s quick but also intelligent. Who knows, maybe one day one of them [Kvyat or Verstappen] will be alongside me if they don’t knock me off soon [laughs].”
Despite a relatively competitive season so far for the Russian rookie, Toro Rosso are unhappy with their overall points tally. During the summer break the team’s technical director James Key slammed their number of points as “pathetic”, with an 84 point gap between the Faenza-based outfit and the team ahead of them Force India.
Although the gap seems insurmountable with only seven races remaining, Toro Rosso’s 2014 campaign will be unquestionably remembered for Kvyat’s supreme ability to quickly adapt to Formula One straight from the GP3 Series.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic