Daniil Kvyat gets Toro Rosso drive for 2014

2014 F1 season


Toro Rosso have confirmed Russian driver Daniil Kvyat will race for them in 2014 in place of Daniel Ricciardo.

Kvyat will partner Jean-Eric Vergne, who remains at the team for a third season. The 19-year-old Russian driver is currently second in the GP3 category with two races remaining.

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, Young Drivers' Test, 2013He also appeared at most of this year’s European Formula Three races, winning once at Zandvoort. He tested for Toro Rosso at Silverstone earlier this year.

“We are pleased to continue our policy of bringing on drivers from the Red Bull Junior Programme,” said team principal Franz Tost.

“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 One career.”

Kvyat said his promotion to the team was “a dream come true”.

“I want to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this priceless opportunity,” he said. “Ever since I began karting, I wanted to get to Formula One 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 will be the second Russian driver to race in F1 following Vitaly Petrov. Russia will hold its first round of the world championship next year. Sauber are also considering promoting Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin to their team for next year.

Formula Renault 3.5 driver Antonio Felix da Costa had previously been tipped to take Ricciardo’s place at the team.

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186 comments on Daniil Kvyat gets Toro Rosso drive for 2014

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  1. Wow! I was almost certain it would be Da Costa first in line!

    Will Vergne be retained I wonder?

    • That will also make him the youngest ever driver to start a race, correct?

    • Will Vergne be retained I wonder?

      Of course this can now be ignored: I had commented before the article was updated!

      Kvyat will partner Jean-Eric Vergne, who remains at the team for a third season.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 21st October 2013, 21:33

      I’m a bit surprised too – in the long run Daniil is the best option they have right now but I thought due to his age they’d give Felix a shot in F1 first and then have either Jr. or Daniil join him in 2015.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd October 2013, 7:52

      @vettel1 – Do you not think this is something of a knee-jerk from Red Bull? Kvyat has put together some brilliant performances in the past few rounds of GP3, but before that he was rather anonymous. In fact, I Sainz had had a better start at Spa when he was on pole, had not got taken out by Harvey, then he could still have been ahead of Kvyat in the standings. This really doesn’t make sense to me. Kvyat was rather ordinary in the Young Driver Test, whilst Da Costa and particularly Sainz excelled. I guessed that Da Costa’s path to Toro Rosso was under threat because of this delay, but I thought they were evaluating Sainz, who at least has more than one season’s worth of experience of higher powered single seaters. I also don’t think Red Bull can look at Da Costa’s 2013 campaign and think that it is at all representative of his talents, especially since Arden Caterham have repeatedley been saying that they can’t get the car back in the window they had it in last year, and with setup being utterly paramount this year in FR3.5, I think Red Bull can only congratulate Da Costa for still managing to win three times, despite effectively having one hand behind his back. And doesn’t the fact that Da Costa was right up there with Ricciardo’s Red Bull pace at Silverstone this year rather demean the argument that there was anything other than a tangible reason for Da Costa’s lackluster season? I never thought I’d say this regarding Red Bull with all their money and might, but this is clearly a commercially motivated decision, and is building on the “WE NEED A RUSSIAN AT THE RUSSIAN GP (which actually might not happen)!” fever. I can only imagine that the conversation in which Red Bull decided to go with Kvyat looked like this…

      OK, we need to choose a driver to go to Toro Rosso.

      Who’s winning at the moment in the Red Bull Young Driver Programme?

      Daniil Kvyat.

      Sign him then.

      Don’t get me wrong, Kvyat is a mighty fine driver, but it is way too early to be promoting him to F1. He needed at least one season in FR3.5, so he gets some kind of experience of F1ish power, and let’s remember GP3 is a huge power jump from his previous series anyway. Just like Sirotkin, premature promotion looks set to ruin the chances of another Russian driver, and that really is a shame, because at times over the past few rounds of GP3, you could be mistaken for thinking we had some kind of megastar on our hands with Kvyat. But the fact that his first races of his F1 career will inevitably be judged on the inevitable toils of a driver thrown in at the deep end seems a little unfair to me.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 22nd October 2013, 8:52

      Me too @vettel1. My line was:

      1. Antonio Felix da Costa
      2. Danill Kvyat (who’s a good driver)
      3. Carlos Sainz Junior (in my book, is ‘the next big thing’)

      Will Red Bull retain Buemi as their 3rd driver or they will go for Da Costa? But it’s not the end of the world, just look at Grosjean who entered and exited F1 just to come back and have an eventful season but still managed to keep his seat and is now driving well enough to be deserving of a win.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd October 2013, 9:41

      I read somewhere (forgot where otherwise I’d share the link) that the main reason they went for Kvyat is that he gave a lot better technical feedback than Sainz or Da Costa during the YDT – especially Tost was impressed by it.
      Then this decision makes sense as Daniil becomes the win win option (although I still have my reservation about his age) – better for development under new regulations and potentially the better marketing choice for RB.

    • Peter jonhy said on 25th October 2013, 17:07

      It can only been explained by the Russian money … since now, here in Brazil we will drink Monsters!

  2. The Russians are coming! Hopefully they have more to offer than Petrov did…

  3. Ryan Fairweather said on 21st October 2013, 20:32

    Money certainly does talk in the F1 world. Lets hope he has the talent to back it up.

    • Matt (@hollidog) said on 21st October 2013, 20:51

      I am not certain, but as far as I know, the Red Bull Juniors don’t bring a lot of their own money. I am pretty sure that once you are into one of those junior teams you have a golden ticket to race wherever you want, hence Kvyat competing in all these categories.
      The problem with these teams is that as soon as you have a bad year or two, you’re out on your ass. It becomes incredibly hard to find new backing and it essentially ends your career.
      Some drivers get lucky and get picked up by another young driver program.

    • Yeah, I just heard a rumour that some Russian backing stepped up to push Kvyat forward for 2014, as is happening with Sirotkin. This must be coming from high up in Russia. Now, their two young guns will appear at Sochi – as the two youngest ever F1 racers.

      I like Kvyat and think he is talented (dominated at Monza GP3), but it’s clear he was third in line behind Sainz Jr (compare their F1 YDT experiences so far) and Felix da Costa, who was brought in to fill the gap between Ricciardo/Vergne and Sainz Jr/Kvyat. Effort went in to this selection as they approached others, including Frijns once more. But there are also rumours about Mateschitz wanting to divest some interest in Toro Rosso, so maybe the driver program was put aside for now. Or, they are going to train Kvyat now over the others to replace Vettel if the time comes (he could still be GP3 champion this year).

  4. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 21st October 2013, 20:33

    Err… who?

    • MattDS said on 21st October 2013, 20:47

      Those following the lower series know about him. Great talent. Didn’t expect it though as he is driving GP3 now, logically he would need to pass to FR3.5 or GP2 first.

      I’m guessing Felix da Costa’s disappointing season has left STR scrambling for another driver, approaching Vandoorne first and resorting to taking a talented but very young Kvyat after Vandoorne turned them down.

      • toiago (@toiago) said on 21st October 2013, 21:51

        Don’t you forget that the disappointing season Da Costa enjoyed was largely due to the Arden Caterham car not being nearly as good as those of Magnussen and Vandoorne.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 21st October 2013, 22:34

          Don’t you forget that the disappointing season Da Costa enjoyed was largely due to the Arden Caterham car not being nearly as good as those of Magnussen and Vandoorne.

          …In a spec series designed to find the best at driving and setup. You’re kidding right?

          • toiago (@toiago) said on 21st October 2013, 23:00

            Despite that, it still is a team effort. It’s not as if it’s the drivers completely tuning up their cars, you have to be surrounded by people who are good at what they’re doing, in this case, the engineers. So, if they can’t do enough to give their drivers the best car possible, the drivers are not entirely to blame.

          • @david-a the team element is still pretty key: that’s why you still have commentators talking about which team is best etc.

          • So why Da Costa in last years Barcelona race was 2 secs fastar than this year?!

            This year the team failed so many times..

            An exemple of that is this year Barcelona weekend.. Felix da Costa did the 2 Qualys end Race 1 with some suspension parts broken and the team only see that in the end of Qualy 2..

            Money was the key in the decision..

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd October 2013, 1:17


            Money was the key in the decision..

            I’d say your willingness to see Felix move up is making you be unfair on Kvyat. He’s been a racewinner in almost no time in F3 Euroseries, Formula Renault 2.0 Champion, and is still fighting for the GP3 Championship.

          • MattDS said on 22nd October 2013, 11:51

            Sure he might have had some hurdles to take in terms of technical worries, but still. Have you seen Sundays race? He didn’t exactly drive like someone that’s aspiring to go to F1.

            All due respect for AFdC but he didn’t perform particularly well in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 he did well in his second season of GP3, but this year Kvyat is doing better in only his first season of GP3 (and Kvyat is quite a bit younger too).

            His impressive stint in the FR3.5 last year was excellent, but there was no pressure for a title fight (as he was out of it to begin with), and expectations were not as high as this year. He hasn’t lived up to it, and you can’t really deny that. If it was just technical problems, RBR would look straight through that and take him on. But they see more than we do, and they didn’t take him on – so they agree he didn’t live up to the high expections imposed on him for this year.

        • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 22nd October 2013, 3:42

          @toiago How can you say that Felix da Costa had poorer machinery? Looking at his teammate’s perfoemance. Pietro Fantin is an average driver and an FR3.5 rookie, and has performed to expectations pretty much. Magnussen and Vandoorne’s respective teammates, Nato and Webb, have also been pretty much nowhere. So what hard data do you have to suggest the car was bad?

          • @wsrgo, do you know how many point scored Pietro Fantin for the team ? if you are giving value to Pietro Fantin with 12 points what should we say about AFC with 170 with same car !?!?

      • RC (@) said on 21st October 2013, 22:43

        Makes total sense. Wonder where Vandoorne will be in 2014?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd October 2013, 5:31

          @rcrc – McLaren will probably keep him in Formula Renault. Right now, they are working on getting Kevin Magnussen a seat; it appears that their logic is that if they have to choose one driver to get into Formula 1, it will be Magnussen. He’s been linked to Force India and Marussia; if he gets the Force India seat, McLaren might be able to place Vandoorne at Marussia, but if they can only get Magnussen the Marussia seat, Vandoorne might have to wait a year unless he can make a deal on his own.

  5. Ian (@f1ian) said on 21st October 2013, 20:34

    Will he be the only Russian I wonder? Let’s see what Sauber does now…

  6. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 21st October 2013, 20:35

    Wow indeed. I tought Da Costa was a shoe in.
    And it’s not like Kvyat is doing so much better.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 21st October 2013, 21:05

      Kyvat has impressed in every series he’s been in while da Costa had an off-season in FR 3.5 and Nasr hasn’t win any GP2 race yet.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 21:30

        Yeah, he’s been pretty versatile – he’s had success in the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series, Formula Renault 2.0, GP3 and Formula 3. I think he might be the first of a new wave of drivers, who rather that slowly climb their way up the hierarchy of feeder series, racing cars that are increasingly powerful, will instead jump out of one car on one weekend, fly to another circuit and jump into a different car the next weekend. They might be relatively obscure series, but it’s a mark of Kvyat’s skill that he can switch from TRS to FR2.0 to GP3 to Formula 3 without breaking his stride, and a trend that I think we can look forward to seeing more of in the future.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 22:58

          @prisoner-monkeys, a return to the 60’s in that regard, at least until they actually make it to F1.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 23:34

            I think it’s a good thing – it will strengthen the junior series, give drivers more experience, and allow talented-but-overlooked drivers a chance to shine. I think a big part of the appeal of Robin Frijns is that he really came from nowhere and upstaged the drivers like Bianchi and da Costa who had the support of big teams.

  7. Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st October 2013, 20:35

    I was… surprised to say the least. The jump from GP3 to F1 is a big one, one only Bottas has tried although he spent an year on the sidelines. Despite da Costa’s less impressive record this year I think he might have been a safer pair of hands. Kvyat has been great lately in GP3, but I didn’t think Red Bull would be so quick to choose him over Sainz.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 20:42

      Kvyat has proven to be pretty versatile – not just with his success in GP3, but also in Formula 3 and Formula Renault 2.0, where he spent most of the season battling Stoffel Vandoorne.

    • darzen said on 21st October 2013, 22:06

      Sainz Jr did have a good YDT but… Kvyat is his team-mate at Arden in GP3 and he has over double the points of Sainz and is duking it out for the title at his first attempt.

      As with almost everyone else, stunned they didn’t go with Da Costa (would love to know why – he was the next best thing last year, perhaps that all went to his head or he simply isn’t that good compared to Magnussen and Vandoorne) not least as I’d thought they’d want to see Kvyat run in FR3.5 or GP2 first!

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 22nd October 2013, 4:04

      @fixy The jump is no longer that big. GP3 cars are much closer to GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 now that they were in Bottas’s time.

  8. robk23 (@robk23) said on 21st October 2013, 20:36

    There’s a big surprise!

  9. Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 21st October 2013, 20:37

    His name is bit of a tongue twister. They’ll probably call him DK.

  10. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 21st October 2013, 20:37

    Very surprised to see that Felix da Costa has (presumably) been overlooked. Wonder if there will be a place for him elsewhere on the grid in 2014.

    • Michael Brown (@) said on 21st October 2013, 21:02

      I think they need Vergne’s experience, so they’ll keep him for next season and then drop him.

      • RC (@) said on 21st October 2013, 22:56

        Yea agreed. No data to backup, I think he will outscore JV in his rookie season. His career progression so far has many parallels to how Vettel was promoted as next-coming in RedBull camp even back in 2006. Somehow he manages to find a win or two in every series he participates, uncannily good or lucky – too early to tell. Just like Vettel.

  11. Verstappen GP (@verstappengp) said on 21st October 2013, 20:43

    I didn’t know this guy but his results from this year seem to be better then Da Costa’s. Though I think the Russian money also had a big influence.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 21st October 2013, 20:47

      Ya, I read an article earlier today that said Kvyat recently acquired huge sponsorship/investors from Russia and that’s why he’s getting the drive… I think Razia said the seat was essentially for sale.

    • If so it’s a real shame, as I liked the Red Bull young driver programme as one of the few remaining alleys for getting into F1 without needing to have significant backing.

  12. JXB141 said on 21st October 2013, 20:44

    Interesting that they’ve retained Vergne; usually it’s a full overhaul at Toro Rosso when they need to make changes. I like Vergne but don’t see how you can justify keeping him on when they jettisoned both Alguersuari and Buemi at the end of 2011.
    Of course, this is all a smokescreen for the fact that I know absolutely nothing about this young Russian.

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st October 2013, 20:45

    Well that is a surprise. Da Costa not getting the seat looked like a possibility but with Sainz Jnr having joined him in FR3.5 already he seemed a more likely prospect than Kvyat.

    Kvyat’s looked pretty good but enough to jump Da Costa and Sainz Jnr in the queue? I doubt it. So you have to wonder if money is playing a role here.

    • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 21st October 2013, 20:49

      I’d guess money RedBull gets by selling more and more RedBull in Russia!

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 21st October 2013, 21:07

      He looks a bit like Bottas. Impressed everybody in GP3 and got a seat in F1 afterwards. I think he could be pretty good after a couple of races.

    • Victor. (@victor) said on 21st October 2013, 21:12

      Shock. I guess da Costa messed it up by not winning this year’s title and to be fair, up until the second part of last season, these are the sort of results he’s produced thus far in his career (although he’s been rather unlucky from what I’ve heard this year).

      Regarding Kvyat, problem is, if he doesn’t cope with F1 this year (he’s 1994, a kid), that’s pretty much it… It’s a HUGE step onwards from half a season of GP3 – his Formula Renault 2.0 experience will only be relevant to an extent when he gets dumped into a F1 car.

      Seems like a very risky option to me for both parties, but given next year’s regulation changes maybe experience will count for less and he can pull off a Raikkonen. I can see how Kvyat is perhaps a more exciting prospect than da Costa, and given Toro Rosso’s mission in Formula 1, not all that crazy of a move.

      • He is less than four years older than me, and frankly I would be absolutely terrified at the prospect of driving an F1 car in a few months time with the likes of Alonso and Räikkönen! I do hope he doesn’t crack: Vettel didn’t, Hamilton didn’t, Räikkönen didn’t so it’s not like he’s doomed to fail, but the experience and the age is pretty minimal!

      • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 21st October 2013, 21:39

        Seems like a very risky option to me for both parties, but given next year’s regulation changes maybe experience will count for less and he can pull off a Raikkonen. I can see how Kvyat is perhaps a more exciting prospect than da Costa, and given Toro Rosso’s mission in Formula 1, not all that crazy of a move.

        Thats the whole point I think. Dr Marko is looking for the new Vettel, not the new Button.

        Btw, I’m a 1994 kid and haven’t my driving license yet :D

      • BJ (@beejis60) said on 21st October 2013, 21:43

        @victor I believe he’s driven the Red Bull and/or Torro Rosso at the YDT.

      • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 22nd October 2013, 4:12


        half a season of GP3

        He’s done a full season.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st October 2013, 21:13

      I’d never heard of him before, which is partly down to my own ignorance, but he does seem fairly obscure compared to his rivals for the seat. Even having looked into him- seeing that he’s clearly talented- I also don’t see why he’s been given the break over others from the same Red Bull programme.

    • toiago (@toiago) said on 21st October 2013, 21:48

      It has to be. As a portuguese myself, it saddens me. I mean, Da Costa surely has the talent and the speed, and with an average car, which he had for the entire season, he still finished third in the standings with three wins and some further podium finishes, so that I think is impressive. Let’s wait and see if he can still land a seat somewhere else on the grid, and if Kvyat is up to the task or crack under the pressure of being handed this opportunity maybe a bit prematurely.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 22:35

      @keithcollantine – This could be Toro Rosso hedging their bets. They took Buemi and Alguersuari for two years and dumped them. Then they took Ricciardo and Vergne for two years, but promoted Ricciardo and kept Vergne. They might be experimenting with staggering their driver changes, using Vergne to assess Kvyat, then dropping him and using Kvyat to assess Vergne’s replacement in 2015. But if it doesn’t work, they can drop Kvyat after a year (and possibly Vergne) and go back to refreshing their line-up every two seasons.

      Honestly, staggering their driver changes would have been the smartest way forward from the start.

    • Tyler (@tdog) said on 22nd October 2013, 4:18

      @keithcollantine it’s particularly surprising given that just a month ago, Franz Tost said (in the context of playing down Sainz Jr’s chances) that “I do not believe you should get into Formula One before 20″.


      The Russian won’t turn 20 until after the fourth grand prix of 2014, the Chinese Grand Prix. Still, relative to Sirotkin he will be well into middle age!

      I must say I thought da Costa was a shoe-in. Third in a championship like WSR, with the car troubles and bad luck he had, is by no means disastrous. You do have to wonder if money and/or commercial considerations played a part.

      I rate Kvyatt highly but I hope that he hasn’t been promoted too early.

  14. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 21st October 2013, 20:49

    There must be some Russian connections to RBR. How many times RBR has gone to Russia for demonstration-runs? RBR+Vettel drove in Sotchi etc. Big market for RedBull or some other deals. Might be only to sell RedBull in Russia?

    Any info, any guesses?

  15. davros said on 21st October 2013, 20:51

    Very good move by Toro Rosso.

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