Daniil Kvyat in profile
Last Updated: 07/01/16 11:20am
Would he sink or swim after a shock promotion to the senior team? The answer was very much swim as Daniil Kvyat outscored highly-rated team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in 2015.
In a dramatic rise through the ranks, Kvyat made a late storm to the GP3 title in 2013 saw him make the leap to F1, bypassing GP2.
The shock defection of Sebastian Vettel from parent team Red Bull to Ferrari triggered a second stunning promotion for Daniil in less than twelve months.
And to think that, prior to his first season in F1, in which he scored eight points and finished 15th in the Drivers' Championship, Kvyat's only previous experience of an F1 weekend had been two Friday practice sessions!
Born in Russia on 26 April 1994, Kvyat had his first experience of karting at the age of eight and after being spotted at his local track started racing competitively in 2005.
The following season his family moved to Rome - where he developed a love for AS Roma football club - and continued to develop as a driver.
In 2008 he finished third in the KF3 European Championship - a feat he would repeat the following season - and runner-up in the Asia Pacific Championship.
With backing from Red Bull, he graduated to single-seaters in 2010 making his debut in the Formula BMW Pacific race supporting the Malaysian Grand Prix.
A busy winter programme followed as Kvyat got his first experience of Formula Renault as he was parachuted into the final round of the Eurocup, before contesting the UK Winter Series, in which he finished fourth, and the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series.
A dual campaign of the Formula Renault Eurocup and the North European Cup was next for Kvyat in 2011. Seven wins from 20 starts saw him finish second in the NEC to team-mate and fellow Red Bull junior Carlos Sainz, who also beat him in the Eurocup where the Russian finished third in the standings, but did take victories at the legendary Spa and Nurburgring circuits.
He remained in Formula Renault in 2012, contesting the Alps Championship alongside the Eurocup. Seven victories from 14 starts was enough to secure the Alps title, but he missed out on the Eurocup title by ten points to Stoffel Vandoorne.
Kvyat graduated to GP3 in 2013 with the MW Arden team co-owned by Christian Horner and Mark Webber and clinched the Drivers' Championship in his maiden season. In May he was given a guest drive with Carlin in the Formula 3 European Championship at Hockeheim where he took a pole and a podium finish, leading to him signing up for the remainder of the season. He then added a victory at Zandvoort and five further podiums.
The Russian also got his first experience of a Formula 1 car in 2013 when he took part in the Young Driver Test for Toro Rosso at Silverstone, ending the three-day event 25th in the timesheets.
His appointment to a full race seat was almost entirely unexpected, but it was immediately apparent that the youngster wasn't fazed by his entry to the big time. The season that followed proved to be a respectable affair, if not quite a spectacular debut. Generally out-driven by team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, the Russian scored eight of Toro Rosso's 30 points - and, perhaps distracted by his Red Bull promotion, none at all in the final seven events.
He made a slow start to life with the senior team, running around the rear of the top 10, usually a couple of places behind Ricciardo, but a fourth-place finish in Monaco got his season back on track.
A second-place finish in Hungary was the highlight of a campaign and his performances in the second-half of the season were much stronger than the first.
If he can build on that momentum, there is no reason he cannot establish himself as an F1 star in 2016.