Daniil Kvyat gets Toro Rosso drive for 2014

2014 F1 season

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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.

He 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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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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186 comments on “Daniil Kvyat gets Toro Rosso drive for 2014”

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

    Will Vergne be retained I wonder?

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

      1. @vettel1 If Sirotkin doesn’t get the Sauber seat, then yes.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        21st October 2013, 20:59

        He should be beaten by Sirotkin

        1. @lite992 @enigma I should have specified of the confirmed drivers.

      3. @vettel1 Actually, no – Alguersuari got into F1 younger.

        1. @enigma you are correct: Vettel is the youngest ever points scorer!

          1. @vettel1 He sure looks like Vettel’s Kid brother….

            Marko and Red Bull are in the hunt for the next Vettel given that in 2016 Vettel will move to the Red Overalls at Maranello…

            The only questions remains is after Alonso Moves to Mclaren in 2015 who will drive the Prancing Horse with Kimi in 2015…

          2. @tmax Alonso going to McLaren is a loooooooooog shot. I think he could only consider going to McLaren if 2014 Ferrari is well off the pace.

          3. @tmax I thought Alonso has a contract with Ferrari until the end of 2016 so it will all take a little longer.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      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.

      1. Those are some points very well put together, completely agreed.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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…

    1. @abbinator

      FOR RUSSIA!!!!

    2. In soviet Russia, you don’t drive the Toro Rosso, the Toro Rosso drives you!

      1. “Win or it’s the gulag for you”
        – Putin

    3. For starters, they probably have even more money to offer…

    4. No doubt Russia is a much bigger market for Red Bull than Portugal or any other Eu country is.

      1. And a bigger market for F1, Bernie will be pleased.

      2. If it was purely market that Red Bull was going after then China, India and Brazil would have more to offer in terms of sheer market share for the Drink. Dany is still within the BRIC, so it must have something to do with the market share :)

        1. @tmax, population is not the only factor in a markets immediate potential, of the BRIC countries Russia is the only one not to have run a GP yet and when deciding between 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other a small perceived advantage can make all the difference.

          1. @hohum markets potential is a mix of size (population), income and taste.

            I can’t blame Red Bull bosses, they need to sell their product and Russia is indeed a promissing market, bad for my man Da Costa who’s from a country of 10 million people and happens to be amidst a once in a generation economic crisis… but his talent will land him a F1 seat, I don’t even doubt it.

      3. I’ll admit, I always wondered if they would run Felix da Costa simply because he is Portuguese. Maybe it could help them with Brazil, who knows.

    5. I will be surprised if by 2018 F1 grid doesn’t have 10 Russians :)

      1. Probably, but Vettel will still be champ. :)))))))

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

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

    1. 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.

    2. 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).

      1. Apparently Kvyat gave better technical feedback at the YDT, so that might have played a role here.

  4. Err… who?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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?

          1. 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.

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

          3. 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..

          4. @27alesi

            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.

          5. 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.

        2. @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?

          1. @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 !?!?

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

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

    1. Imagine if both of them end up in Marussia in the future, with the promised Marussia engine. That’d be fun.

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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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

          1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

    3. @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.

      1. @wsrgo You’re right, I hadn’t thought of that. But still, he’ll skip the intermediate step of GP2/FR3.5, so… best of luck to Daniil!

  8. There’s a big surprise!

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

    1. Shhh! Be Kvyat, I think Dan’s ill…

      1. This is fantastic =D

      2. His middle name is (probably) Boris. So, he’ll be Danill B Kvyat!

        1. @loup-garou – Only if his father’s name is Boris. Russians don’t use middle names; they use patronyms, or their father’s name. So if Kvyat’s father name is Boris, his full name would be Daniil Borisovich Kvyat, or “Daniil, the son of Boris Kvyat”.

          1. OK, maybe his father’s name is Boris and so our young friend would be Daniil Borisovich Kvyat or (still) Daniil B Kvyat for short. ;)

    2. I believe it’s pronounced “ker-VY-at”. But you have to say it quickly. Russian is a funny language like that. The names are generally pronounced as they are written, but hard consonants dominate vowels, and vowels dominate soft consonants.

      1. Go here: http://text-to-speech.imtranslator.net/

        Change to Russian and enter квят. Click ‘Say it’. Enjoy :)

      2. I believe it’s pronounced “ker-VY-at”

        Correct. Here’s the man himself, at 3:05 –


    3. what about Dan Kake @loup-garou :)

  10. 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.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      21st October 2013, 21:02

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

      1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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. 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.

    1. Remeber Buemi had a couple of seasons. I think they are doing the same with Vergne, and I’m pleased because his luck this year has been awful.

  13. 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.

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

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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!

        1. @vettel1

          I forget where I saw it but Vettel mentioned that after the first time he tested an RB (before joining TR iirc), he said he wasn’t sure if he was up to it and that driving an F1 car felt like it was for “real men” (and he was still a kid).

          Clearly things changed. LOL.

          1. @uan wasn’t that the quote from his test with Williams in ’05?

          2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
            21st October 2013, 21:58

            @uan it wasn’t the Red Bull, it was the BMW back in 2006. And it was his first F1 test ever. Then he “just” topped the times. First in practices on his first ever weekend!

          3. thanks @omarr-pepper and @optimaximal for clarifying it for me – I was racking my brain trying to remember the details.

          4. @uan That’s what he said after his first few laps. After a few more laps, he liked it.

            He also said that his neck was pretty destroyed after his first race in Indianapolis!

      2. 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

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

      4. @victor

        half a season of GP3

        He’s done a full season.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. @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.

    7. @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. 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?

    1. They’re all doing numbers of demo runs in Russia to drum up public interest in the sport ahead of the inaugural GP next year. It’s what they clearly didn’t do enough in the Middle East, Korean and Chinese races.

      1. Which clearly shows that the Russians have thought this through.

  15. Very good move by Toro Rosso.

    1. I agree it makes perfect sense.

      1. imo makes more dollars than cents

  16. I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about Kvyat. All I do know is he’s done well in GP3, but that’ll be quite a big step up to F1. Therefore, does anyone know if he brings a lot of sponsorship with him?

    1. @deej92 – His car doesn’t carry any unique sponsorship. MW Arden run Kvyat, Sainz Jnr. and Robert Visoiu in GP3. Of the three, only Kvyat and Sainz Jnr. drive cars with Red Bull backing. Visoiu has CONARG – a Romanian construction company – all over his car.

      So if Kvyat brings sponsorship to the team, it’s only something he acquired recently. Oil and gas giants Lukoil and Gazprom would be the most likely candidates, possibly as a replacement for CEPSA and Nova Chemicals (who are owned by the same company). However, Lukoil and Gazprom are partially owned by the state, and the Russian government has thrown its support behind Sirotkin. It’s unlikely they would back Kvyat, too. So if Kvyat has sponsorship, it’s probably from the private sector.

      Until more information comes to light, I can only assume that his sponsors are comparethemarket.com.au, an Australian health insurance service that features a Russian-accented meerkat (don’t ask) as its mascot.

      1. We unfortunately have to endure the Russia-accented meerkats in the UK as well!
        Lukoil seem sponsored him in Formula BMW (just going on images). We haven’t heard anything of Cepsa and Nova Chemicals leaving as of yet so perhaps his promotion is mostly down to talent, and perhaps also in the hope of selling more Red Bulls in Russia. Thanks for the info.

  17. Not a big surprise if you have read Dr. Marko’s interviews over past 2-3 months.

    GP3 or not, he loves those who win races at these levels, not those who just end up scoring points.

    He’s been looking to find the next BIG talent, not just a midlevel F1 driver.

    “He said Ricciardo’s eventual successor will be “someone from the junior programme and not just with the potential as a formula one driver, but to fight for victories and titles. “That’s quite a different thing,” said Marko.”

    1. Thats why Felipe Nasr was never an option: consistent but not fast enough to be the next Hamilton.

      1. Exactly.

        Once we understand what he’s looking for, it becomes very clear about his choices. It has nothing to do with the driver being Russian or brings (or will bring) dollars etc. They are in a luxury position to groom the next Vettel (or Hamilton, Alonso etc).

  18. Money, that’s the only explanation.

    1. @edmarques – I agree. Money is obviously the only thing that got him the seat. It’s not like he has the talent to race the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne for a title … except that he did. And it’s not like he had a strong season in GP3 before making a guest appearance in a Formula 3 race where he qualified on pole against the likes of Raffaele Marciello … except that he did that, too.

      People point to the way da Costa split a GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5 Series campaign and stayed competitive in both last year as one if the main reasons why he should get into Formula 1. But Kvyat has done exactly the same thing this year in GP3 and European Formula 3. However, because he’s not da Costa, you immediately assume he’s nothing more than a pay driver. I invite you to forget about 2012 and look over some of the races this year: Kvyat has been competitive in everything he has driven, whilst da Costa has been all over the place. People don’t think much of Sergey Sirotkin, but Sirotkin was battling with da Costa all year long. If Sirotkin really is as bad as people make out, then what does that say about da Costa? And why would you still pick da Costa over Kvyat?

      1. It’s this perception that some drivers from certain countries or region are less worthy deserving of drivers than compared to say drivers from Europe who have historically had much more drivers.

        1. Absolutely nothing to do with the guy being Russian. One thing i don’t really don’t mind is driver nationality.
          I just think that he is jumping do the category too soon.

      2. Wow he must be a genius that i don’t recognize…
        He is going to F1 to early, IMO. And the explanation that he impressed on a 20 lap test sound like BS to me. I could be wrong, next year we will find out.

  19. I am shocked, to be honest. I haven’t followed the FR3.5 season closely, but I feel Da Costa still had the speed this year, especially in the races, even if the results didn’t come as easily as they did last year. But motorsport is difficult, and many factors can conspire to prevent a driver from getting results. I guess Red Bull would know best what the reasons were that Antonio did not get the results that were expected of him this year, but still. His hot streak at the end of last year was surely one of the most impressive ever in the junior categories.

    I guess the timing is unfortunate for Da Costa. If a vacancy had occurred one year earlier at Toro Rosso, he would certainly have gotten the seat. It would be nice if another F1 team would be clever enough to get him, but without any budget that doesn’t look very realistic for 2014 (I assume he has no budget yet).

    As for the signing of Kyvat, he is certainly a promising driver, but I would find it a great pity if Toro Rosso is the next team to go shopping for pay drivers. But perhaps Helmut Marko has identified him as the youngster with the highest potential, who knows.

    1. He hasn’t competed in GP2 or FR 3.5 but Kvyat was impressive in the lower categories so I think we must not write him off before the season has begun.

      Sad for da Costa, he’ll probably never join F1 …

    2. It has been said that some russion investors pushed for him to get the seat at Toro Rosso, but nothing has been confirmed yet. And I agree with you, the timing wasn’t ideal for Da Costa, and this year’s misfortunes cost him dearly when the time came, despite him being a very good driver, on par with Magnussen and Vandoorne I believe.

  20. That’s quite shocking. I thought that Da Costa was going to get that seat easily. He has been a bit disappointing this year in FR 3.5, but he has shown that he is still a very good driver, I’m very surprised that he is not going to Toro Rosso. I wonder what he is going to do next year.

    On the other hand, I think Kvyat deserves a shot. Maybe it’s a bit early, but for sure he is a better choice than Carlos Sainz Jnr. I hope he does well.

  21. I’ve literally never heard of him. I have watched GP2, GP3, Formula 3, WSR3.5, all pretty consistently in the past 3 years. Not religiously, and I dont follow the news of their drivers, but I have watched more than a handful of races of each series.

    Who is this guy?

    1. Okay, admittedly, not much GP3. :)

  22. So 2014 seems to be the put-a-Russian-teenager-in-an-F1-car-several-years-before-he’s-ready year. Much like Sirotkin, Kvyat could well be the next Seb Vettel, but that won’t matter if he blows his chance simply because he’s not at his peak. A mistake by Red Bull, in my view. Although I’ve never rated AFdC as highly as others, I would definitely have picked him over Kvyat.

    1. I’ve heard 4 names for the Toro Rosso seat: da Costa, Kvyat, Sainz Jr. and Nasr. I would have picked da Costa but Kvyat would definitely be my 2nd choice. He won more races than Vandoorne in 2012 in the FR 2.0 championship!

      But if you would have to choose between Sirotkin and Kvyat, I think everyone would have picked Kvyat.

    2. I entirely agree, although in my view, Kvyat is still a better choice than Sirotkin. At least, he is 1 1/2 years older, and his results are better as well (besides GP3, he also had pretty good results in Formula 3 as a guest driver this year).

  23. Kvyat could also still win the GP3 title. He only need to score 7 points more than Regalia in the two remaining races (at Abu Dhabi), with 48 points still on the table. He had a slightly better run than Regalia, too, in the last races, so it is not at all unlikely.

  24. F1 is going to have a real talent gap in 5-7 years time

    1. Why? If teams keep on going picking up 18 year old kids, there will always be someone to pick ;)

  25. Daniil who?

  26. Anyone who says this is all about money has literally no idea what they’re talking about. Dany is super fast from what I’ve seen this year, loads of potential. FDC has never really excited me, he’d make a competent F1 driver, but Marko’s “the best or nothing” attitude strikes again. Kvyat is really bloody fast, but he’s not ready, not yet, I hope it doesn’t ruin his chances like Jaime. Also does anyone know if Red Bull will retain Da Costa? They’re not totally convinced by him obviously, but I thought those rumours were a bit unbelievable about Toro Rosso not being convinced by him, obviously not!

    1. Are you really not convinced by Da Costa? You surely didn’t follow the end to last year’s FR3.5 season. And this season still, he was very good. It wasn’t his fault that his car let him down plenty of times, otherwise he wouldn’t have been in contention all the time for the title, and not sidelined so early in the campaigne.

      1. Oh yeah, he is really good, and I would have put him in now, but I think, and Red Bull must, that he’s not quite champion material, and Kvyat has shown loads of speed in a short career, whereas apart from last year Da Costa has never looked Vettel-like fast. I’m not saying he isn’t good, but I think Kvyat’s really really fast.

        1. Well, I’m not in a position to judge Kvyat’s talent because I haven’t followed in much until now, apart from his Toro Rosso test back in july, when I heard of him for the first time. But still, in my opinion he can’t be that much better than da Costa for the latter to be overlooked in such a ruthless way.

          1. No, but If he has money that will always help, but it’s wrong for people to think he’s a pay driver, Red Bull only take drivers they think can cut it, and drop those who can’t. Again, I do think da Costa’s good, but if Kvyat wins the GP3 title, people will see him a lot differently.

        2. Really fast, but not ready. Way better than Sirotkin, who is probably the worst pay rookie is recent years…maybe apart from Chilton, but hopefully Magnessun will replace him.

          1. At leats he seems in much better shape for a “Raikkonen” than Sirotkin, who’s had a very average season in FR3.5.

  27. Money 1 – 0 Da Costa

  28. Surely 19 is too young??

    1. @juan-pablo-heidfeld-1 – The two main title protagonists last year started at 19 ;)

      1. @david-a

        Well there’s me told :p

  29. Also:
    (posted by Forza Bianchi on another forum
    Silverstone Young Driver Test
    1. Ricciardo – 1:32.972 (Day 2)
    2. Sainz – 1:33.016 (Day 2)
    3. Vernge – 1:33.647 (Day 3)
    4. Cecotto – 1:34.193 (Day 1)
    5. Kvyat – 1:35.281 (Day 3)

    Obviously fuel loads could be different but Kvyat is the slowest of those who drove for Toro Rosso (and excluding Caterham and Marussia drivers, the only driver who was slower than Kvyat was Kimiya Sato in the Sauber).

    1. Markedly so it appears too. I hope he proves a match for Vergne at least, otherwise this’ll look like a bad decision.

      But then, Vettel was a whole 3 seconds slower than Webber on his first test: look how that turned out! Vettel easily has a 3 tenth average advantage over Webber.

    2. Hmm.. this is why us armchair qb can’t predict performance from a few misleading #s.

      Simple fact: GP3 this year, same team, and both aged 19. One guy has two wins, another best placed 3. You pick who you want to promote for next big thing.

      1. My knowledge outside F1 is very poor, just posted the numbers as a useful reference

      2. Surely Kvyat. Maybe Sainz Jr. has gravel in his blood, not closed circuit asphalt ;)

  30. Damn, I now for first time have to experience that horrible feeling of watching a Formula One race knowing there is someone in it who younger than me. :(

    1. Haha.. good one, been there, done that. its a naked truth feeling :(

    2. Well I’m 31 now. I don’t feel old at all, yet I’m starting to realize there’s not too much drivers older than me in F1.
      After a quick check, it’s even worse than I realized. In 2014 there will be just 3 drivers older than me: Button, Alonso and Raikkonen.

  31. Didn’t see it coming, but he is a talented driver. Much like Sirotkin, though, I do think it might be a little too soon for Kvyatt.

    Da Costa is talented, but showed he couldn’t replicate his 2012 pace. As long as he isn’t dropped by Red Bull, he should be able to continue in a good series in a good team.

  32. Even RedBull is looking foward wealthy pilots. The fact they do bring money doesn’t make them bad pilots. This Russian might be the new Senna…but it’s at least strange.
    That also makes me wonder….Has VET signed an extension contract? Because….lets face it….nor VER not KVY will drive a Red Bull in the near future….So…I guess Horner is not worried about his N1 driver running away to Ferrari or Mercedes.

    1. @mumito
      Yeah I think that is what they are preparing themselves for, in case it happens.
      Would be a shame to end up like McLaren with no driver capable of really putting up a title fight even with the right car.

    2. I think Vettel has got a contract until 2015 so he could replace Kimi at Ferrari or Lewis at Mercedes.

  33. Wow, I was not expecting that.

  34. I remember hearing once that the fastest driver in the world is a woodcutter in Siberia, but the world would never get to see him race because the sport is too expensive.

    As it turns out, Kvyat is from Ufa in the Republic of Bashkortostan, and while it’s not in Siberia, it is pretty close – Bashkortostan is on the Siberian side of the Ural Mountains …

  35. really shame what toro rosso did with AFC…they prefer rublos, da costa in last 2 years help red bull team with tousand hours in simulator during the GP weekends…AFC did various tests with RB and Toro Rosso and when they choice a driver they choose who put a lot of money on F1, and russia is a big market for RED BULL brand. i don’t drink red bull anymore, monster or burn do the same thing!!!

    1. Now now. Before and after his impressive stint in FR3.5 in the second half of last year, Felix da Costa hasn’t really performed that great.
      Also, I read on another site an insider comment – those involved in the young driver programme have been impressed by Kvyat more than AFdC, and have been considering the former to be the more talented for quite a while now.

  36. And so the Torro Rosso tradition of replacing drivers with similar first names continues.

    1. @prof-kirk – There are unconfirmed reports out of France than Jean-Eric Vergne has legally changed his name to “Sebastian Daniels”.

  37. Money makes the water run UP stream…

    1. @prelvu Yeah, Niki Lauda started it all..

  38. Kvyat is a guy who has got better and better as his career has gone on. His first season in Formula BMW wasn’t as impressive as Sainz’s, the gap was pretty big. But Kvyat brought the gap down in 2011 in Formula Renault 2.0. Red Bull moved Sainz up to F3 the following year, but he failed to live up to the expectations, and had a disastrous season. In GP3 this year, Sainz was expected to do better than Kvyat, having raced in more of the circuits before, and also having driven more powerful machinery (F3). But even before the Spa weekend, Sainz was only a couple of points ahead of Kvyat. Sainz’s FR3.5 performance hasn’t been great, he beat teammate William Buller only once in six races. Buller, who was beaten by less experienced drivers this year in British F3!
    As for FdC, he is incredibly inconsistent. He is capable of having a brilliant season (late 2012) and a poor one (early 2011, mid-2013). FdC doesn’t really have a superb junior formula career. He was racing with crack squad Motopark in FR2.0, but he finished well behind Albert Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne, and only just beat teammate Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. He had a good season in F3 Euroseries, but not great, three sprint wins were pretty much all he had to show. In 2011, he had a terrible season in GP3, and was thoroughly beaten by Alex Sims, his teammate at Status. I don’t think someone should be considered a great talent just on the basis of a stretch of excellent races over a few months. We also have no hard data to show that the Arden Caterham was a bad car this year, any worse than DAMS and Fortec. WSR is a spec series, and car setup is the only thing that differs, everything else is the same.
    To be honest, I think FdC should have been given at least one season to show how good he is. Kvyat could have been evaluated in WSR. But maybe Helmut Marko is searching for the next Vettel, not the next Vergne.

    1. Kvyat has 2 wins in GP3 right? 2 or 3 podiums? Very consistent…
      Have you watched FdC races this year? Have you noticed how many errors he made and how many errors the team made?

      1. @kobe08 The team made errors, yes. But that doesn’t explain FdC’s poorly judged overtaking moves, like the one on Aleshin at Budapest, and another one last weekend. His qualifying pace throughout the season was average, and he wasn’t really crushing his less-talented rookie teammate by much.
        And yes, Kvyat has been pretty consistent. He’s making a big step up in machinery, but after a few races, he seems to have sorted it out.

    2. For certain you have reason and all other people are wrong. The true is no one was expecting this result, it is clear this is a commercial issue.

    3. If they are searching for the next Vettel and do not test him properly, what they are doing is Poker with the eyes closed …. so, everyone could perform, who knows? Probably even you or me…
      This is not a professional move of a professional team, you can only understand this when you put money on the equation.

  39. Good decision by Torro Rosso, they did not go by the ‘flavour of the month’ i.e. Da Costa

    1. It is true. They go for money ….

  40. #whynotdacosta

    1. @xusso – #whydacosta

      Everyone gets carried away with da Costa’s achievements last year. But he has had a horrendous season this year. One of his big problems has been in setting up the car, and I have heard the theory that the team were under orders to be less than helpful in this regard to test da Costa’s ability to set the car up. If true, he appears to have failed that test. If it’s not true, then it doesn’t change the fact that he’s been totally ordinary.

      1. If so, I think he did a pretty decent job.
        He still picked up some wins and podiums this year.
        In your line of thought, Kvyat, that had a great season, should fail as soon as the team “is ordered” not to support him so much “to test him”…
        We will see.

        It’s clear to me that this was a strategic move because of economical reasons, not based on current or previous achievements.
        There are rumors that STR will change their name to Toro Ru$$ia… :)

  41. I was at Monza and there were a few drivers that stood out as class of the field there, Kvyat was easily the man of the moment. A dominant first and a fighting drive through to the podium. Really good.

    Sainz looked good to as did Rezalia, amongst a lot of crazy kids too.

  42. Money does the Talks! Perhaps, someday, Kvyat became a driver like AFC, but where is the rational in opting for a driver that needs development instead of a regular winner with a lot of talent and experience. I suppose we all know the answer. Eventually, Energy Drink and Bernie Ecclestone wins, F1 and Motorsport surely LOSES. THIS IS A SAD DAY FOR MOTORSPORT!

    1. @vzx7qf – Except that Kvyat is also “a regular winner with a lot if talent and experience”. Go and look at his results – he’s been a title contender in the last four championships he raced in (but not European Formula 3 as he was a guest driver and therefore ineligible to score points).

      1. The true is no one was thinking in kvyat for the place. This should mean anithing. I’m not saying he don’t have some skills but should prove it in gp2 or fr3.5 he is too young for the job. Let’s see….

      2. @prisoner-monkeys – Do you have any proof of such theory?

        1. Sorry! The reply was aimed at you comment above!

          Everyone gets carried away with da Costa’s achievements last year. But he has had a horrendous season this year. One of his big problems has been in setting up the car, and I have heard the theory that the team were under orders to be less than helpful in this regard to test da Costa’s ability to set the car up. If true, he appears to have failed that test. If it’s not true, then it doesn’t change the fact that he’s been totally ordinary.

        2. And you, have any evidence of the opposite? … Why not putting the actual winner of karting in F1 next year, I suppose he could also perform, and, on this case, he had a great name supporting him. Verstappen….

  43. I imagine Helmut Marko isn’t very popular on the Iberian peninsula these days, after sacking Alguersuari two years ago, and now putting Kyvat ahead of Da Costa.

    I like the move. From what little GP3 I’ve seen, Kyvat has exceptional racecraft and the results are there to warrant a promotion up to F1 – just as Valtteri Bottas did. I don’t get why people are making him out to be the next Esteban Tuero and expecting him to battle Sirotkin for 21st in the championship next year.

  44. he’s a good driver, so this decision will prove itself to be good i’m sure!

    1. 21 :)
      And the 22nd has just four races left to do.

      1. So you are younger than webber but older than Kimi .. tha last of the 70s born F1 drivers.. although he would have taken his first steps only in 1980

  45. “[Kvyat] senses his opponents even if he doesn’t see them.”


  46. Money is the best friend of actual F1 Teams …..

  47. Has some of the experts in F1 rated, Da costa is a superb driver that appears only once in decades. We never hear anything special about this Russian; could this be a serious move without money involved? I suppose not !!

  48. In terms of marketing, I have serious doubts that this move beneficiates Red Bull as a Brand. Every person that loves motor racing understand what is going on and do not like money over talent. I used to Drink Red-Bull, but now, I have changed to Monsters even it is more difficult to find here in Brazil.

  49. and Kvyat got GP3 championship…what a star!, now I see that Red Bull knows what they are doing…another Vettel is coming

  50. Oh man! So wanted JEV at RBR! Anyway, I wanted Da Costa at STR!

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