Daniil Kvyat has confirmed he will be racing alongside Carlos Sainz at Toro Rosso next season after months of speculation about his future in F1.
Kvyat’s future as a member of the Red Bull Young Driver Program looked to be in doubt for a while following his demotion from Red Bull in May before the Spanish Grand Prix. The Russian then suffered from a poor run of form, that saw him only score 2 championship points in eight races. However, following summer break Kvyat has fought back, proving himself a match for current young hot shot and team mate Sainz. As well as Giving Max Verstappen, the driver who replaced him at Red Bull, A taste of his own medicine with some impressive defensive driving in Singapore.
“Great news!” Kvyat said in a statement released by Toro Rosso. “I’d like to thank Red Bull, Dr. Marko and all the team for their support and the faith they have shown in me since I returned to the team earlier this year.
“I’m very happy to stay with a team that feels like home to me. I’m really looking forward to continuing the hard work together in 2017 and I’m really aiming high. I will always be fully dedicated, giving my ‘200 per cent’, and I will be pushing as hard as I usually do, that’s for sure. I’m delighted!”
Kvyat’s new deal means GP2 title challenger Pierre Gasly, the next driver in line for promotion in Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme, looks set to miss out on an F1 seat for 2017. Though, Team Principal Franz Tost is thrilled that Kvyat will be staying with the team for another season.
“In recent races, it has been clear that Daniil is back on top form. I always told him that his future with us was in his hands and he has stepped up to the mark and delivered the sort of performances that have ensured his 2017 seat in the STR 12.”
The team also announced they would retain Sainz as well for 2017, though this was no surprise after he was confirmed in the summer. The reconfirmation puts end to the speculation Sainz was in fact going to be alongside Nico Hulkenberg at Renault next season.
“Considering how many changes there are in the Formula 1 pipeline for 2017, it’s good to know that Daniil and I will continue to be teammates here in Toro Rosso next year.” Sainz reported in his team statement. “We know each other very well, as we’ve been racing together since 2010, and we work well together. I know that this season isn’t over yet, but I’m already looking forward to next year!”
The message of consistency was a key thing Tost was quick to underline.
“It makes a change to announce our driver line-up relatively early. There are so many new elements coming to Formula 1 in general and to our team specifically, in terms of the change of power unit supplier, that having the same two drivers gives us stability and a benchmark to work from. We now have a very talented and strong driver pairing to tackle a season in which we expect to be very competitive.”
Feature Image Credit: Scuderia Toro Rosso Press Release.