AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat says his first Ferrari Formula 1 test in mid-2018 rekindled his desire to race in the championship, having lost his position within Red Bull’s programme.
Kvyat’s single-seater career was supported by Red Bull and he stepped up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso in 2014, before replacing Sebastian Vettel at the senior team the following year.
Kvyat’s Red Bull tenure lasted only 23 events as he was demoted early in 2016 to make way for Max Verstappen, and after a sketchy 2017 campaign he was axed entirely by the company.
But he spent 2018 affiliated with Formula 1 and took on a role as Ferrari’s development driver, which led to a tyre test at its Fiorano facility that re-ignited his desire to be back in a race seat.
“I felt I had a lot of unfinished business in Formula 1,” he expressed on the official F1 podcast ‘Beyond The Grid’.
“There was talks in different areas (formulas), but I always wanted [to drive] in Formula 1. I was considering stopping completely if I didn’t get a Formula 1 deal again.”
“I tested that year’s car once in Fiorano, and that was very emotional for me, because, first of all, it’s a Ferrari and Fiorano – current  car – and it was really cool.
“I [hadn’t] driven anything for six months or something. I was enjoying it so much, and that day I understood I want to come back at any cost to Formula 1: ‘This is what I want to do, what I’m best at’.
Kvyat also feels he was able to gain invaluable experience after being able to work alongside two world champions in the form of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
He explained: “It was great also to watch them work – two world champions – very experienced guys,”
“With Sebastian, once I think I was in Canada  and my job was to look at onboard videos and try to, you know, pinpoint what was different.
“And I said, ‘look you can take more chicane, more kerb on the chicane’, and he agreed and he tried it the next day, and it was better…”
Kvyat ultimately returned to Toro Rosso for 2019 and was retained by the rebranded squad for this season.