Scuderia Toro Rosso names Kvyat as 2nd ride-buying Russian for 2014 (Update) UPDATE
(GMM) The F1 world got a surprise this week when Toro Rosso announced Daniil Kvyat, a Russian teenager, as Daniel Ricciardo's 2014 successor.
|Daniil Kvyat makes 2 Russians in F1 ahead of Russian GP. Americans ahead of 2 USA GPs? Zero|
We reported on Monday that, although Antonio Felix da Costa has been the obvious favorite for the seat, fellow Red Bull junior Kvyat had jumped to the front of the queue thanks to 'a group of Russian sponsors'.
Italy's Italiaracing said one of them is SMP, a Russian group.
Earlier, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost had said Rome-based Kvyat, who is the first driver to leap straight to F1 from GP3, was too young for 2014.
"I think usually formula one drivers should be at least 20 or 21," he had said.
But now, Tost insists Kvyat is "very talented", having "impressed" the Faenza based team with his F1 test at Silverstone this year.
Portuguese da Costa, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter that Red Bull's decision "hurts", but insisted "it's not over".
The 22-year-old has also struggled at times in the Formula Renault 3.5 series this year, while Dr Helmut Marko insists Kvyat has flourished in his development.
Russian Kvyat remains in contention for this year's GP3 title, and Red Bull's Marko said on Austrian Servus TV he has also thrived in F3.
"Whatever we have put him in, he has performed right off the bat," Marko said late on Monday.
Marko denied that, unlike Sauber's Russian teen Sergey Sirotkin, the fact Russia will host its inaugural grand prix next year has had a direct influence on the choice.
"What he showed in the (F1) testing was remarkable," Marko insisted. "If a young driver shows the talent, the passion and a strong work ethic, we give him a chance."
And the correspondent for the German newspaper Bild, Frank Schneider, added: "It is quite possible Toro Rosso will also get a new sponsor or two."10/21/13 Scuderia Toro Rosso is pleased to announce that Daniil Kvyat will drive for the team from the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season, as the replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, who moves to Infiniti Red Bull Racing. Kvyat, another product of the Red Bull Junior Driver Program, will therefore partner Jean-Eric Vergne in our driver line-up. This year, the 19 year old Russian, who is based in Rome, has been competing in GP3 and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Franz Tost: “We are pleased to continue our policy of bringing on drivers from the Red Bull Junior Program. 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."
Daniil Kvyat: “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.”