Former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat has opened up about Helmut Marko’s brutal sink or swim strategy at Red Bull.
After progressing through the ranks with the Red Bull driver academy and becoming a test driver for Toro Rosso in 2013, the Russian was given a full time seat a year later at the junior team, following Daniel Ricciardo’s promotion to the main team.
The following season, Kvyat earned a seat at Red Bull alongside Ricciardo - despite being beaten by his Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in 2014 – but he would go on to struggle with the team, achieving just one podium that season.
In 2016, Kvyat recorded his second and last podium with the team at the third round in China, but after finishing 15th at his home race, he was swiftly demoted back to Toro Rosso in favour of Max Verstappen.
Kvyat opens up on Marko strategy
Speaking with F1’s Lights to Flag feature, Kvyat opened up on the conversations he had with Helmut Marko and how his brutal strategy helped him to perform.
“Especially at the beginning it was tough and I got a call from Helmut,” he said.
“He was like, ‘You know what, if you don’t improve next race, I think we’re done here’, so I was like, ‘Wow, OK’. I was under a lot of pressure already. I had to go to Hockenheim and be ahead of Carlos, Helmut told me.
“I said, ‘OK, but please change the car to my liking’, because the set-up was the set-up and we just ran it. We did it and it worked very well, I remember I out-qualified Carlos and was ahead in the races. I think that’s what Helmut really liked about me, because he thought, ‘OK, if I can basically tell him he’s going to be fired and he can do this job, then it’s good’.”
After being dropped by Red Bull, Kvyat stayed with Toro Rosso until he left the team in 2017, but he would re-join in 2019 after taking a year out of racing. He would achieve his third and final podium in the sport that season with a third-place finish at Hockenheim.
He would stay with the team when they rebranded to AlphaTauri in 2020, finishing 14th in the standings with 32 points, before leaving F1 at the end of the season.
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