Daniel Ricciardo has welcomed the return of his former teammate Daniil Kvyat, who will return to the grid in 2019. Toro Rosso confirmed on Saturday that the Russian would take up a seat with the Red Bull junior squad, almost one year after he was dropped from the Red Bull programme.
Ricciardo and Kvyat partnered each other during the 2015 season and four races of the 2016 season. After losing his spot on the grid towards the end of last year, Kvyat took up a role with Ferrari as one of its development drivers. And Ricciardo thinks that the year out could allow the Russian to come back stronger.
“I’m curious but I actually think the year off will be quite good for him,” he said. "It’s probably made him realise a few things with himself. I think he’ll appreciate being back in the sport and I think he’ll be more mature. I’m not saying he was immature, but these things will help him keep a cooler head and probably reach his potential more consistently.
"It’s cool that he gets another crack. All I can say is that I hope it works for him. On his day he was quick. I was just never really sure if he knew how he was doing it,” he said. “But the natural talent is there.”
Kvyat obtained the nickname 'The Torpedo' following a lap one overtake he made on Sebastian Vettel at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix. Ricciardo has suggested that Kvyat should embrace the nickname and promote himself with it, which will send a firm message.
“It’s now the resurrection of ‘The Torpedo’,” the Red Bull driver laughed. “If I was Dani, I’d get the torpedo on the helmet. I’d put out a tweet or something [saying] ‘The Torpedo is back’. From him, that would be strong.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing