Toro Rosso has shocked the Formula One world by confirming that rookie Russian driver Daniil Kvyat will drive alongside Jean-Eric Vergne for the next season.
Kvyat, drove in the GP3 series this season and is a graduate of the Junior Driver Programme of Red Bull. He also tested for the team in the Young Driver Test at Silverstone in July. The Russian will be handed the task of replacing Daniel Ricciardo who will join Red Bull next season.
Team principal Franz Tost confirmed that the driver was chosen only on basis of merit and added that the team will be looking to give him the best start possible.
“Daniil is a very talented driver, which can be seen from his results in all the junior categories. He was a very successful Kart driver and, in 2012 he took the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship title with 7 wins. This year, he competed in six rounds of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, taking one win, five poles and five podiums,” said Tost.
“In addition to this, he is still in a position to win the GP3 Championship, as he is only seven points behind the leader. He impressed our team with a strong performance and very informative technical feedback at the young driver test in Silverstone. This suggests that the basic qualities from which he can progress are all in place. Daniil can be sure that we will use all our experience of training youngsters to give him the best possible start to his Formula 1 career,” he added.
Kvyat said that it was fantastic news for him and thanked the team for the opportunity.
“This is fantastic news, a dream comes true and I want to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this priceless opportunity. Ever since I began karting, I wanted to get to Formula 1 and now that wish will become reality next season. I had a brief taste of working with the Toro Rosso team, when I drove for them at the Silverstone test and I enjoyed the experience very much. The fact I am based in Italy and speak Italian will, I am sure, help me to become part of the team very quickly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Antonio Felix da Costa who was linked with the race seat tweeted that he was disappointed with the decision but wished luck for Kvyat, who is also his flat mate.
“It hurts but it’s like this, I’m happy for Daniil and that it stays in the Red Bull Family, enjoy mate Dany Kvyat,” tweeted Da Costa.