Daniil Kvyat eyes Super Formula return in Nakajima racing test

KVyat (motorsport.com)

KVyat (motorsport.com)

Former F1 Driver Kvyat to take part in Super Formula rookie test with Honda squad

Daniil Kvyat, the former Formula 1 driver, is set to make a return to single-seater racing as he looks likely to take part in the traditional ‘rookie test’ of the Japanese Super Formula with Nakajima Racing. The test is scheduled for December 6-8, and Kvyat’s participation marks his first venture into single-seaters since his final F1 season with AlphaTauri in 2020. While he did test a Formula E car for NIO earlier this year in Berlin, the opportunity to try a Super Formula car comes courtesy of his connections with Nakajima Racing, particularly with team manager Katsuhisa Homma, formed during Franz Tost’s tenure as Kvyat’s boss at AlphaTauri/Toro Rosso.

The rookie test at Suzuka is anticipated to reserve the final day for newcomers, giving Kvyat a substantial three-day window to experience the Dallara SF23. Though Nakajima Racing’s complete test lineup remains uncertain, Naoki Yamamoto is expected to sit this one out due to a neck injury sustained in a recent SUPER GT round.

Kvyat’s presence at the Suzuka test raises the intriguing possibility of him becoming a full-season Super Formula driver in 2024. The looming damper regulation changes, with the ban on open damper development in favor of standard components, may encourage teams to run their regular 2024 drivers during the rookie test. Kvyat’s recent appointment as a factory Lamborghini driver for the LMDh project adds another layer to his already diverse racing portfolio, as he is poised to compete in the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship.

A Super Formula campaign could comfortably coexist with his WEC commitments, given the absence of date conflicts between the two series. Notably, Toyota drivers Ryo Hirakawa and Kamui Kobayashi have effectively juggled both championships in recent seasons.

Kvyat’s potential return to Super Formula injects fresh excitement into the Japanese championship, particularly with the likelihood of Liam Lawson not returning in 2024. Though Lawson’s F1 ambitions with AlphaTauri may not materialize as planned, he’s expected to serve as a reserve driver for Red Bull at all 24 Grand Prix events next season.

The 2024 Super Formula calendar, as it currently stands, presents six event clashes with Formula 1 races, further adding to the intrigue surrounding Kvyat’s possible Super Formula comeback.