It was officially announced that Daniil Kvyat will be replacing Daniel Ricciardo in Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2014 Formula 1 season, as the latter moves to Infiniti Red Bull Racing alongside reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Kvyat is currently on the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme and will partner Jean-Eric Vergne.
This has been deemed a shock announcement as headlines are popping up all over the Internet about having this “relatively unknown” driver move up to F1. The 19-year old Russian, who is based in Rome, tested for Toro Rosso at the Young Driver Test at Silverstone in July. He has been competing in GP3, where he sits second in the standings after an impressive debut season for MW Arden, which is co-owned by Mark Webber and Christian Horner.
Some feel that the appointment of Kyvat is “financially motivated”, but Franz Tost insists he was “selected on merit”. He said, “We are pleased to continue our policy of bringing on drivers from the Red Bull Junior Programme. 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 1 win, 5 poles and 5 podiums.
“In addition to this, he is still in a position to win the GP 3 Championship, as he is only 7 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.”
Obviously over the top of the moon, Kyvat said, “This is fantastic news, a dream come 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.”