After months of speculation, it was announced earlier today that Yuki Tsunoda, Formula 2 driver, would drive for Alpha Tauri in 2021. Daniil Kvyat loses his seat for the second time in three years at the Italy-based outfit.
Yuki Tsunoda, a rising young star driver, backed by Honda, comes to Formula 1 after an impressive Formula 2 season with Carlin, where he netted three wins, four poles and seven podium for a third place finish in the driver’s championship. Mick Schumacher, son of legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher won the F2 championship in front of Callum Ilott, new reserve Ferrari driver for 2021, and Tsunoda.
Kvyat has been honest over the last weekend of the season, mentioning on multiple occasions that his F1 options are indeed very slim for 2021, but that his phone has been ringing and he, in-fact, will have the luxury of choice regarding his 2021 drive.
In 2018, when Daniil found himself without a place on the F1 starting grid, he was hired by Ferrari as reserve and test driver. Young British superstar Callum Ilott, F2 vice-champion was just announced has the new Ferrari reserve driver.
So what options does that leave for Kvyat?
The last F1 Hail Mary.
Nikita Mazepin is now under investigation by HAAS for an abhorrent and tasteless social media post containing a video showing Mazepin groping a woman’s breast. The video has since been deleted. Mazepin has yet to drive for HAAS, and he was just announced as the teammate of Mick Schumacher for the 2021 season. He was schedule to test for Mercedes during the post-season sessions in Abu Dhabi, but was replaced at the last minute by Mercedes Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne. Mazepin’s seat could be the only realistic chance for Daniil Kvyat to find himself on the starting grid in the 2021 Australian Grand Prix. If the recommendation of the inquiry is to replace Mazepin as HAAS’ second driver, Kvyat and his Super License could be an interesting option for Gunther Steiner. He has a prior relationship with Ferrari, the engine and powertrain supplier of HAAS, and has demonstrated more maturity and consistency this season. Callum Ilott, who was in contention for the HAAS seat to begin with, could also be bumped up from Ferrari reserve driver, to HAAS driver. If that happens, expect Kvyat to appear in a red cap in the Ferrari paddock as the 2021 reserve driver.
Here are a couple of other options that Daniil Kvyat and his agent, Nicholas Todt, have been looking into or have been approached for.
The Indycar option.
More, and more the Roger Penske-owned North American open-wheel series is attracting top European drivers.
After Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson, Kvyat could be the next former Formula 1 driver to join the premier open wheel series in North America. There is a high-profile seat still available for Harding Steinbrenner Racing, part of Andretti Autosport and powered by, you guessed it, Honda. Same engine supplier as Alpha Tauri.
The long term option of WEC-LMDh option.
With the new Hypercar category to debut on the WEC and at Le Mans in a few years, a long term option of helping the development of the new car with one of the elite car manufacturer. Audi and Porsche have already announced their intention to join the new top endurance class.
The sabbatical option.
There is also the possibility of seeing Kvyat enjoy a sabbatical in 2021, hoping for a super-sub phone call, à la Hulkenberg. He would be easily available also to help an F1 team to develop the 2022 car and maybe find a seat this way for the 2022 season.
One thing is for sure, The Torpedo will drive a race car again.
Where do you see Daniil Kvyat driving next? (answer below)