Kvyat joins Alpine as reserve F1 driver

Ex-AlphaTauri and Red Bull Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat has joined Alpine as a reserve driver ahead of the 2021 season.

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Kvyat dropped off the F1 grid at the end of the 2020 season after AlphaTauri opted to sign Red Bull youngster Yuki Tsunoda to partner Pierre Gasly for 2021.

It marked the end of Kvyat's third stint with the Faenza-based squad, and a second exit from the Red Bull umbrella of drivers, having previously departed at the end of 2017.

But Kvyat will remain within the F1 paddock this year after Alpine announced on Tuesday that the Russian would be joining its line-up as a reserve driver for the 2021 campaign.

"We have a strong addition to the team in Daniil Kvyat, who is going to be our reserve driver for the season," announced Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.

"We're pretty happy about that, because in a pandemic, it is important for us to have a strong back up, and Daniil has proven that he is a very quick and reliable driver in very difficult conditions.

"He has already scored three podiums at the age of 26, so we are very, very happy that someone is going to be able to step up if the need arises and score the points, take the car where it should be at the end of the line.

"So we are quite happy about this strong addition to our team."

"I am very excited to join the Alpine F1 Team family," said Kvyat.

"The team has achieved some great results in the past year and is very technologically advanced. Development has been strong, and I am aiming to contribute to this positive trend.

"I will try to bring my experience on and off track to help develop the A521 and future cars as well. As a reserve driver you need to keep sharp and I look forward to integrating into the team in several different areas."

Kvyat made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2014 before moving up to the senior Red Bull squad for the following year, scoring his maiden podium at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix.

But a difficult start to the 2016 season led to Kvyat being demoted back to Toro Rosso, and ultimately lose his seat at the end of 2017.

After working with Ferrari for one year in a development role, Kvyat made a surprise return to Toro Rosso for 2019, and scored a shock podium for the team at that year's German Grand Prix.

He was overlooked for a promotion back to Red Bull, though, and with the emergence of Tsunoda in F2 last year, was left without a seat for 2021.

Kvyat takes over the role from Sergey Sirotkin, who served as Renault's reserve through 2020 before the team's rebrand.

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