Russian racing drivers do not have it easy in sport at the moment, they are sanctioned due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Daniil Kvyat does not believe there would be a problem with his citizenship should he make it back to Formula 1. Most recently, the Russian competed for Team Hezeberg in the US NASCAR series and see’s a comeback to F1 as a distinct possibility.
The former Red Bull driver is also welcome in the paddock, recently seen in Monza, Kvyat was a guest to watch the race up close. At only 28 years old, he is considered a potential candidate for a return to Formula 1 should a door open despite the sanctions against Russian athletes.
Kvyat would have to sign with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to race under a neutral flag and distance himself from supporting Russia. It is also said that he could simply start under an Italian licence. Whether a team would currently be willing to take on a Russian driver is another matter.
“I am open and I think here in Europe and the US there is a green light for me from most of the series,” Kvyat said about the issue of his citizenship.
“There was a time when there was a lot of tension. That has eased. Still, it set me back a bit in the negotiations. Let’s see what happens in 2023, I have some options. I don’t think there will be any hurdles for me.”
In his career, Kvyat has contested 110 Formula One races. He raced for both Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) and Red Bull between 2014 and 2020. He was also a reserve driver for Ferrari in 2018. In 2021, he was last contracted as a reserve with Alpine and covered the Pirelli test days.
In Monza, the Russian was a guest of the French to meet up with his old colleagues. There he also met team boss Otmar Szafnauer. He has already stated that Kvyat is not a candidate for a cockpit at Alpine. The racing driver himself, however, does not rule out a return to the premier class.
“Never say never,” he says. “Of course, the timing is not ideal at the moment. Maybe we can talk about it again one day. I’m currently racing in NASCAR and I’m welcome there. I haven’t had any problems there, really. I plan to do more races there next year. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try and it’s a dream come true.”
In the stock car series from America, it’s not uncommon to race at the highest level into your late 40s, so he can see himself competing there permanently.
“If you do it right, it’s possible,” Kvyat said. “But Formula 1 will always have a special place in my heart. I’m still young and there are some drivers who have come back after a little break and are doing well.”