In a shock move Toro Rosso have named Russian 19-year-old Daniil Kvyat as their second driver for the 2014 Formula One World Championship season.
Red Bull Racing’s sister team had been set to promote from their young driver programme after Daniel Ricciardo had been selected to make the step up to Red Bull to partner Sebastian Vettel following the retirement of Mark Webber.
The media and the paddock in general had expected Portuguese driver Antonio Felix Da Costa, to take the seat alongside Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne who will race for the team for a third season despite being over looked for the Red Bull seat.
However after a poor run of form in Renault 3.5, they have given the opportunity to GP3 driver Kvyat.
Kvyat is second in the championship after 14 rounds, winning two races for the MW Arden team, who are co-owned by Mark Webber and Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
This season he has also won in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, whilst previously he has stood on the top step of the podium in Formula Renault and Formula Renault 2.0, whilst also winning the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Alps championship.
‘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.’ Kvyat told Sky Sports.
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost added: ‘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.
‘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.’
Teenager Kvyat joins Toro Rosso