In a shock move, Toro Rosso has announced that Daniil Kyvat will partner Jean-Eric Vergne at the team for 2014.
The 19-year-old Russian, who has spent the year dovetailing campaigns in both GP3 and European Formula 3, will be promoted to fill the seat vacated by Daniel Ricciardo, who graduates to a senior Red Bull Racing drive.
Kyvat drove Toro Rosso’s 2013 challenger at the Silverstone Young Driver Test in July and completed a straightline test for Red Bull last week.
Helmet Marko, who acts as an advisor to Red Bull and plays a key role in the company’s junior driver programme, said that it was the Russian’s form throughout 2013, which has seen him pick up wins in Formula 3 while also currently sitting second in the standings in the GP3 series behind Facu Regalia, that had convinced Toro Rosso to choose him to partner Vergne.
“Whenever we put him in a car his efforts were remarkable,” Marko explained to Red Bull’s Servus TV channel.
“If a young driver proves talent, passion and a high level of work ethic, we give him a chance. It’s that perspective that is why we chose Kvyat.”
Antonio Felix da Costa had been the early frontrunner in the battle for the second Toro Rosso seat for 2014, but a lacklustre season in Formula Renault 3.5 has seen the Portuguese slip down the Red Bull pecking order, with this snub leaving his future unclear.
Image courtousy of Scuderia Toro Rosso