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Russia gets a new star: Daniil Kvyat beats rivals to 2014 Toro Rosso seat
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Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Oct 2013   |  9:24 pm GMT  |  169 comments

Daniil Kvyat has beaten off strong opposition from Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr to land the second Toro Rosso seat for next season, replacing Daniel Ricciardo.

The news that the 19 year old has a confirmed seat means that next year there will be at least one Russian on the grid, when F1 arrives in Sochi for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix. He becomes the second Russian driver to make it to F1, after Vitaly Petrov who raced in 57 Grands Prix for Renault, Lotus and Caterham.

The choice is interesting; after Mark Webber announced his retirement from F1, creating an opening at Red Bull Racing, da Costa was widely tipped as his successor. As the summer went on however Sainz staked his claim, helped by influential friends of his father, the former rally champion.

But this site heard from senior drivers in the Red Bull programme that the one they felt had the most talent was Kvyat and it is reassuring to see that the management shares this view. The youngster has really impressed this year in GP3 and still has a chance to win the title.

He will be following in the footsteps of Valterri Bottas who moved into F1 direct from GP3, without doing GP2.

Team principal Franz Tost said, “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.”

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169 Comments
  1. LewisFTW says:

    Common, don’t tell me this wasn’t a mistake. This was Felix Da Costa’s seat. He is only in GP3, he should have really taken the role of Jean Eric Verge in 2015.
    Anyways, I wish him all the best of luck at torro rosso and hope he finds success there.

    1. Sebee says:

      Wow! Bad day @ Sauber today I think. Red Bull doesn’t miss a beat in their marketing efforts.

      1. Different Russian driver at Sauber: Sergey Sirotkin

      2. Sebee says:

        I know, but Sauber won’t be the one with all focus on it at Sochi as the only team with a Russian driver now, so that takes away the uniqueness of Sauber idea. Also, Red Bull is a marketing machine and I bet you Kvyat will get big visiblity push from STR during that GP.

        As a side note, does Kvyat mean Flower? :-)

      3. Sebee says:

        Oh…and how do the 2 compare on motorsport achievements? Sounds like Kvyat has been around and achieved a bit more.

      4. BW says:

        /does Kvyat mean Flower/

        It does, but in Polish. In Russian it would be “Tsvet”.

      5. Sebee says:

        Will be interesting to see if STR attracts Russian sponsor money that may have been headed Sauber’s way. I know Sauber had that one contact, but would other Russian sponors have followed suit? Do they now have to reconsider STR as option?

        Anyhow, two Russian drivers means 2 teams for Russian sponsors to choose from now perhaps spreading the money a bit thinner. Not that there is shortage of money in Russia.

    2. Le Mick says:

      Russia = Money
      …..so disappointed for Felix da Costa

      1. Le Mister says:

        Anyway, F1 is becoming sooooooo boring. I miss the days when it was real overtaking and not some (I have drs and you don’t) + (if I push my tires will melt) :-(
        I was one of those guys who used to get up at 0300hrs to watch a practice session. Only ever missed a GP to play a gig.
        These last couple of races I haven’t even turned live timing on. Then I heard that next year there will be even less fuel allowed!!! What a joke, his is not the top motorsport anymore and it makes me very sad to even consider not watching the next race at all.

      2. Rudy says:

        Totally agree with you. F1 is a shame. Half the grid is full of pay drivers, while true talent is on the sidelines. Bottom line, the FIA is responsible for this with the hyper expensive new engines and ERS. They have put teams in such a stance, they need drivers who bring money, not talent, to pay the bills. They even aren’t capable of implementing a proper budget cap. Then the Pirelli fiasco and the change of tyre construction at mid season, benefitting some teams and compromising others, give a clear view of how and where this beloved sport is going. Next year fuel efficiency will be the Sunday theme, rather than true racing. Any Motorsport series in the world, wherever you are, will be rather more competitive than this lame circus.

      3. Monktonnik says:

        Yes, the only problem is that there wasn’t a lot of overtaking.

      4. What years was that? The mid nighties? Because since the 2000s, it’s been very difficult to pass with the aero.

        Mind you in the 90s, we only had two competitive teams in a season. Either McLaren/Williams, Williams/Benetton, Williams/Ferrari, McLaren/Ferrari. I much prefer now when we have four teams going for the win, despite tyres and DRS. (although it’s always Vettel winning in the end!).

        2010 was probably as close to perfection as it gets, bar Abu Dhabi.

      5. Tealeaf says:

        Another predictable and cliche ridden Hamilton lover… still finds time to discredit Formula 1, ok its not perfect but going so far off topic to say these things are just pathetic to be honest, if you don’t like it don’t watch it simple no point keep going on about the same thing that is definitely boring.

      6. Craig says:

        That’s exactly how I feel.

        I started watching F1 in 1996 and I’ve never missed a qualifying or race session since then (or a practice session since BBC/Sky coverage started), but recently I’ve found my love for this sport evaporating.

        I have less and less interest in watching it as it’s so predictable and the fake overtaking and endurance style racing just does nothing for me. I find it very boring to watch.

        I’m not saying things were perfect in the past, but as a race weekend approached I was always greatly looking forward to it. These days I just don’t seem to care one way or the other.

      7. Basil says:

        The article is clearly stating that he was elevated into the TR seat because of talent, don’t let facts stand in your way though.

    3. JCA says:

      Well, AFdC wasn’t covering himself in glory against either Mclaren development driver, in fact they apparently tried to poach Stoffel Vandoorne from Mclaren. Kvyat was also looking very competitive against Carlos Sainz Jr as teammates.

    4. McLaren78 says:

      I really wish the article also mentioned the Russian GP next year and FOM’s role in all of this. Fans are not that naive to believe that this selection was solely based on ‘talent’. C’MON!

      1. James says:

        Agreed, how dare RB put the driver in their programme with the best results into F1!?!?!?

        Scandalous.

    5. Elie says:

      I wanna know what happened with Sainz junior – his test results were impressive to say the least.

      No doubt Daniil is performing but surely this is more about a Russian GP in 2014 and a massive market for RBR marketing.

      1. James says:

        2013 GP3:

        Kvyat -131 points
        Sainz Jr – 66 points

        Same age, same team, same car.

      2. Bren says:

        Sebastian Vettel – 297 points
        Mark Webber – 148 points

        Different age, Same Team, Different Car!

      3. Sebee says:

        OK Bren, that’s funny.

        I mentioned this before, bet you didn’t know Vettel and Webber have different sponsors too.

        Vettel – Red Bull
        Webber – Red Bull Sugar Free

    6. Grant H says:

      I wonder how much of this was a business decision,

      F1 debut’s russia next year, think of all those rich prospects they will want to try and attract – most likely why they have confirmed him early-ish for a smaller team

      Cant be good news for sauber as they now have to share the cake

      1. CJD says:

        you’ve never seen kvyat racing as guest in FRS2.0

        he was impressiv in his first race in a totaly new car, and the rest of his 5 races he also did very well.

        but there is a point – he skipped FRS3.5 and GP2

    7. Gerhard says:

      This Kid porbably has two things going for him regarding getting a seat.
      1. Russian money.
      2. He looks like he weighs about 15 kgs, so that makes him a prospect.

      A bit of skill and no body weight = F1 drive. Sad what its coming too

      I bet that south African Kid…Kevin van Der Linde will smash him in the same kar (even though Kevin is 17 and in Scirocco Cup). That guy is a talent to watch.
      He just needs to descide…single seaters or GT’s.

      Won the Championship in his rookie season.
      Those are the type of talent that needs to come to the sport. Last time that happened…Hamilton and Vettel…Maybe Romain G…after that…only money and average drivers…Sad

  2. Ross says:

    It makes you wonder how relevant GP2 is these days.

    Unless you win it in your first year you have next to no chance of ever reaching F1.

    1. GP2 has become too expensive for real talents to emerge.

      FR3.5 is where Red Bull and McLaren send their development drivers.

    2. James says:

      GP2 is an irrelevance these days.

      RB & Mclaren have their talents in WsR, Mercedes in DTM.

      Valsecchi & Razia failed to graduate to an F1 race seat, Leimer & Bird will do the same this year.

    3. CJD says:

      marko stated, that gp2 racers have to less time in the car. 2 short traings, 2 races .. even in F3 (especially WsR) you have 3 races and often long training sessions.
      so he often goes for WsR/F3 drivers

  3. Michael Grievson says:

    Sounds like gp2 is becoming redundant

  4. Andrew M says:

    Didn’t expect that…

  5. Paul says:

    So with Luiz Razia suggesting that the Toro Rosso seat was up for sale and rumours of Russian backers pushing hard for Kvyat, we’re supposed to believe that he’s jumped from 3rd in line behind AFDC and Sainz into the seat?!

    By being in contention for the GP3 title he might be the only Red Bull junior that did what was tasked of him this year. But he wasn’t competing as high a level as Felix da Costa, nor was he as impressive in the young driver test as AFDC and, in particular, Sainz.

    1. wolf says:

      With weight set to be an issue it probably doesn’t hurt that he’s the lightest of the three of them by several kilos…

      1. Sebastian says:

        Looks to me like he is going to have to go through a brutal physical fitness programme.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Where is the figures? But if true then thats a good point, but still this drive is still a joke, Sainz jr would destroy this.. well whoever it is GP3??? a 80 year old great grandmother can drive those underpowered cars not an achievement.

      3. wolf says:

        Just from a web search, although when I rechecked his RBR profile today it looks like he has ballooned out to 61kg instead of his previously listed 58kg:
        http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Red-Bull-Junior-Team-2012—Driver—Daniil-Kvyat/001243182466037
        daCosta is listed at 60kg, while Sainz Jr is the fatty of the group at a whopping 66kg.

      4. Jack says:

        I guess you didn’t check this years’ GP3 standings then.

        hint – Kyvat has 2x the points of Sainz

      5. Tim says:

        Presumably he is only lighter when he hands over the wheelbarrow full of money that he brings with him :-)

  6. Ian Pringle says:

    Has he done enough F1 testing to get a Superlicense?

    1. Tim says:

      I am sure I read somewhere, there is a special clause which allows drivers who lack experience , but have extremely wealthy backers, to get their license. If such a clause does not exist – then it soon will.

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        If Sirotkin can get one, I’m sure Kyvat can. The real question is, what happens to them if their first year is less than stellar ? Another big talent lost to the sport before it even started (see Alguersuari).

    2. James says:

      Would imagine he will drive Buddh, Abu Dhabi, Austin & Brazil FP1s + some straightline testing to meet the mileage allowances.

      Remember Hua got one last year at HRT.

    3. Not yet, but I’m sure Red Bull will make sure he has before the start of next season. I think he might qualify for one outright if he manages to win GP3, though. I can’t remember if Bottas got one after 2011, or if he had to build his test mileage up first.

      The only time I can think of a super licence really being fudged in recent years was when Sauber decided to run Kimi Raikkonen. With a mere 23 races in Formula Ford and Formula Renault 2000, he was seriously lacking in experience and didn’t meet the criteria in any way. That turned out just fine and we should remember that before assuming Kvyat isn’t ready.

  7. Victor says:

    Yeah, no one can compete against the money coming from Russia.

    1. Basil says:

      Do yo have any facts in order to back up your claim or is this more hot air from clueless bystanders? The article clearly states that he was elevated into the TR seat because of talent.

      1. Valois says:

        Yeah, F1 team principals never lie.

      2. SteveS says:

        Yeah, internet commenters never lie or offer crazy conspiracy theories.

      3. Me says:

        …and clueless posters have no idea…

  8. Mee says:

    Toro Rosso are obviously not so impressed with Felix da Costa and Sainz Jr. They even went to Stoffel Vandoorne last month (according to him), but he denied the seat because he has got *some* promises from McLaren. Big mistake if you ask me, but we’ll see.

    James, have you caught some of that news?

  9. Vasco says:

    Money talks ! :(

    1. Rayz says:

      Utter rubbish. To all who haven’t even heard of DK. The guy has been a revelation in GP3 this season. I watched him at Monza a couple of months back and he made Sainz Jnr look very average. Destroyed the field in the first race and carved his way through the field in his race 2.

      I’ve been keeping tabs on him since then and he has looked very impressive. This may be a shock decision for most but not for me. Da Costa is unfortunate but I think he’ll replace JEV in 2015 after DK shows him a clean pair of heels.

      No doubt he is bringing money, and equally no doubt this is a risk for Toro Rosso given his inexperience, but I think this situation is very similar to how a once unknown Iceman made his way into a Sauber seat. And now look at him.

      I may be wrong but I hope I’m not. Good luck to Daniil

      1. Omniprescient says:

        Agreed, watched him at Monza this year, and yes, he’s having a good year while eg FdC is not, and it is entirely logical that RBR judge him as a going concern as better than anyone else of the current crop of youngsters. They know better than anyone else, took him to Silverstone test and that was enough. I see no sinister infleunce of a roma abramovich or vlad putin himself. DK lives in the UK and Italy, speaks Italian and English, and is a humble and decent young man. Ticks all the boxes, and gets a chance. Kudos to him and to RBR for another yet shrewd (imho) move. As for money, I think he was chosen on merit alone, RBR have enough cash for it, while a further prospect of the Russian market and sponsors may indeed come into consideration sometime sooner than later. He is not Sirotkin, in other words.

      2. Omniprescient says:

        …and an interesting analysis of why DK by the Russian ed of Autosport:

        http://autosport.com.ru/feature/8567/pochemu-kvyat

        (Hopefully Google will help with translation…)

      3. Tim says:

        ‘ he is a humble and decent young man’
        He really will have his work cut out to mix it in f1, if he doesn’t drop those particular traits pronto;-)

      4. Zhenya says:

        +1

        Daniil hasn’t got a ’100 %’ sponsor package.

        Sirotkin has it.

      5. Grant H says:

        Money would have been a big factor, a russian driver + russian gp next year = prospects of new sponsers

      6. Tim says:

        An interesting post – if he destroyed the field in Monza and has been a revelation, how is that he is not leading the championship by a mile?

      7. Omniprescient says:

        A combination of factors, his mistakes occasionally, then a team error, a technical gremlin there then. But his progress is evident, and with two entirely different tyres/disciplines. RBR must know better having taken care of him for so long, and tested him. We may disagree with their choice, but to say that he is a pay driver is utter rubbish as someone put it.

      8. Tim says:

        To be clear, I neither agree nor disagree with the teams choice. I am certainly not an expert in that field, and do not have as much information as the team. So I accept their better judgement.
        However the thing that always puzzles me (slightly) is when one driver, who came second or even third in the championship, is chosen ahead of the one who actually won the contest. I confess, that is when the cynic in me, starts to see other factors at work, sponsorship (either direct or indirect)and influence by powerful friends. All my suspicions may be completely unfounded but you can’t blame me for having them :-)

      9. James says:

        None of the Arden drivers scored points at the first two rounds, having chewed their tyres early. Once they got their heads around the Pirelli tyres, Kvyat has been in his own series.

      10. Rayz says:

        Tim, you say you are confused as to why he got the drive when he isn’t even winning the GP3 championship….. Let me put it this way, Alonso didnt win the championship last year, or the 5 years previous to that in fact, and yet for most teams, there is no better driver out there.

        And btw, he is only 7pts behind, he can still win GP3. His talent and raw speed alone has led Toro Rosso to this decision.

      11. Tim says:

        @Rayz
        At the risk of perpetuating this, somewhat, pointless debate – the deal is sealed and we can talk all we want and nothing will change – I feel obligated to point out that you are contradicting yourself. In your first post you say ‘No doubt he is bringing money’ and in your second, ‘His talent and raw speed alone has led Toro Rosso to this decision’.
        Personally, for what my opinion is worth, I suspect it is a combination of both. We will see in due course whether TR have made the correct choice.
        Incidentally, Alonso (although extremely well regarded in the pit lane)brings a huge amount of sponsorship with him from Santander. If you really think that doesn’t have some influence for a team when deciding on their driver line up, then I suggest you think again :-)

      12. Rayz says:

        i only said no doubt h is bringing money because there isnt a driver on the grid that doesnt. The top drivers bring money in the form of sponsorships such as Santander following Alonso. My point originally was that he is not simply just a pay driver… as you would have seen from the “money talks” comment which annoyed me.

  10. Ricou75 says:

    How can the Scuderia Torro Rosso hire a young driver without experience like Daniil Kvyat for the next season with a lot of technical changes coming on the cars ? I don’t understand this decision ! There are a lot of F1 drivers more experienced than him on the market no ?

    1. jmv says:

      Sauber did the same with Kimi Raikkonen.

      1. Ricou75 says:

        Yes I know with Vettel is the same too. But if that works one or two times then it’s not an obvious rule. It’s only an exception and the danger is high for the team with an inexperienced driver. But I haven’t all datas and my judgement might be wrong !

      2. zootrees says:

        Who else would they pick? Red bull pays big money to have a driver development program, they have toro rosso for the same reason. They should use that team to develop the driver with the most potential. Kyvat might be the best out of the three at technical understanding, which by what Tost has said that seems to be part of his appeal.

    2. James says:

      Nobody has driven these engines. Clean slate for everyone.

      1. Ricou75 says:

        ok wait & see so !

  11. Rob says:

    He was runner up formula Renault not champion. Seems a bizzare choice instead of giving Sainz or DaCosta a shot against Vergne who himself can’t be in with much chance of keeping his seat beyond end of next season. If this kid is such a talent then a year in GP2 wouldn’t hurt.

    1. SteveS says:

      Kyvat is crushing Sainz in GP3, 131 points to 66.

  12. Kimi4WDC says:

    ” he finished third in the KF3 European Championship category and runner-up in the WSK International Series” – this speaks miles about the driver talent.

    And he had good results in lower Formulae.

    Obviously Red Bull looking for next Raikkonen or Vettel.

  13. Stephen Taylor says:

    Da Costa for Formula E, James?

  14. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    He looks like Seb’s wee brother in the photo!

    “Geet JEV ot of zee vay, he ees too zlow”

    …sorry.

    The GP2 guys must be doing their heads in with this plus the financial state of the smaller teams needing big pay drivers.

    1. Ronnie says:

      That was my first thought – they hired Vettel’s brother, not just in this picture, in many others. And I think he even has Vettel’s hair cut at similar age. What stood out most to me was the similar vibe. They said he gave impressive technical feedback. Will see. I was quite excited to see JA come on board only to see him fade into obscurity. What a tuff sport. We all can use some new excitement here, even as a Vettel fan – my nails are growing long due to lack of biting moments :-)

  15. Rishi says:

    A surprise move but apparently Kvyat is a real talent so wish him well. But has he been promoted too soon?

    Forgive me for reviving a relative dinosaur from the Red Bull Young Driver Programme but when I thought about the second seat a few weeks back I wondered if it was worth bringing Sebastien Buemi in from the race seat cold. Him and Jaime Alguersuari were evenly matched at Toro Rosso (Jaime got better results in 2011 yes, but Buemi got the bad reliability) and now he’s been part of the all-conquering Red Bull unit for the last two seasons as a test driver. With 2014 so important in terms of having experience and a safe pair of hands behind the wheel, I thought, how about a return to Toro Rosso on a one-year deal. Meanwhile, with in-season testing en vogue once again, how about Antonio Felix da Costa (who has had a mixed year in F.Renault 3.5) as the Red Bull tester and Carlos Sainz Jr as the Toro Rosso tester (or Kvyat for that matter) so that they can gain F1 experience before getting a race seat opportunity in 2015 (regarding James’s example of Bottas at Williams, he did precisely this even without in-season testing!)??

    To be fair, deep down I probably always knew that passing up young blood in favour of a consistent-but-unexciting ex-Toro Rosso man was always unlikely and, looking objectively, I think da Costa has the strongest reason to be upset by this news. However, someone has to be remember the forgotten man of the F1 jigsaw and I remember liking Buemi as far back as A1GP 2006/07 and the 2007 F3 Euroseries season so I thought it might as well be me!

    1. AndyRat says:

      No, its now clear…. they’ve moved on from Sebastians and now is the year of Daniels, and from past form these things run in threes, so if there are any other Daniels lurking in the lower formulae expect them to usurp JEV within the year. Oh, and as far as that other Seb goes, best watch your back,son!!!

      1. Rishi says:

        Haha good spot. I can picture it now: Helmut Marko insisting on the drivers bringing birth certificates with them when they sign the contract. Special dispensation to be given to drivers who change names provided they have the necessary documentation!

  16. Thomas in Adelaide says:

    Interesting. Could be Vergne’s last year if this kid beats him. It doesn’t take long to go from future star to ex-F1 driver.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Especially when you drive for Toro Rosso.

    2. James says:

      Vergne will be their focus next year, although it’s hard to see where he goes from here. Even if he was incredible next year and Ricciardo abysmal, RB surely wouldn’t accept another change.

      1. Random 79 says:

        I think there are two main reasons why Webber stayed at RBR for so long.

        First, he had the support of DM.

        Second, he helped build up the team to what they are today.

        Basically there was a lot of loyalty involved.

        I think for the immediate future the second driver is going to be much more expendable, especially considering that every year or two RBR will have Toro Rosso spitting out new contenders like a Pez dispenser.

        If Ricciardo disappoints it’ll be Vergne, and then if Vergne disappoints it’ll be this guy Kvyat, and so on…

      2. Thomas in Adelaide says:

        I still think Jaime was the big talent that slipped through the cracks.

      3. Random 79 says:

        +1 Thomas. Unfortunately it’s looking less and less likely that he’ll end up with a seat in F1.

  17. Ross says:

    I am very disapointed that we will not see Da Costa on the grid next season and likely never will unless he leaves the RB proggrame.

    Da Costa, Magnussen, Vandoorne and Frijns all look good enough to join Bianchi as the next bunch of F1 stars. Too many good young drivers are currently being kept out of F1 (add Wickens to that list) and it will come back to hurt the sport in five years time.

    There are too many dead weights on the grid (Di Resta and Sutil instantly spring to mind)who have had their chance and will never win a Grand Prix never mind a world championship and should be moved on.

    If it is true that Marussia are going to go with Bianchi and Magnussen next season then that is the team I will be suppourting in 2014.

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t forget Toro Rosso has in the past dropped drivers mid season, so if JEV doesn’t tear it up, maybe they will import da Costa mid season?

      1. James says:

        Da Costa is testing for Carlin this week in FR3.5 rather than his current Arden team….

      2. Re says:

        He said he would stay in Red Bull junior program though. Also Sainz Jr. was scheduled to test for Pons and DAMS, no Arden Caterham.

  18. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I don’t understand, because think I’ve never heard about Daniiil, even it’s not clear how many “i” has his name…

    Some key words and phrases I cannot find in the text of the article:

    - backed from (big name)
    - too young for f1
    - money
    - money from Russia
    - business in Russia
    - sponsor from Russia
    - Sergey Sirotkin
    - формула 1
    - деньги

    1. mpiligrim says:

      If you’ve never heard of em, make sure you take a deeper look, specifically regarding current season. And compare it to Antonio or Sainz Jr.
      Key words not needed, even though I’m Russian and I don’t support the idea of bringing Sirotkin in f1. Don’t be jelous.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Tks, so if you know him, do you know who is backing him in Russia? I mean, like Slim backs PEREZ and GUTIERREZ.

    2. Omniprescient says:

      That’s an outsider’s look at what happened, and somewhat ignorant I’d say. Many Russian sponsors may well queue and knock on RBR’s office door in order to buy a space on DK’s car, but that will only happen if he is good enough. Mind you, I am not even sure if those spaces will be bought by RU companies – not that much to advertise coming from Russia, no? Take it to the bank – he is no pay driver.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Exactly, he’s not a pay driver, it’s MORE than that IMO, a different category, lot of business behind that, I’m sure time will tell.

    3. Sarvar says:

      Red Bull decision makers have the complete profile of all 3 candidates than we armchair experts have, mate.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        So Welcome Daniil! It’s like the beginning of the Golden F1 Era of Russia.

  19. Douglas says:

    How much does he weigh?! :)

    1. James Allen says:

      Not much looking at the photo of him!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Don’t be so sure; those headphones might be covering up some gimongous ears and as we know these days every bit counts ;)

  20. Kieren says:

    A new name to learn for next year. How do we pronounce it, James?

    1. Zhenya says:

      /kw/ instead of /kv/, which is not found in English, is alright, it doesn’t make much difference.

  21. pushthebutton says:

    Hi James, I’m not sure if any of you guys are aware, but there’s a petition concerning Sean Edwards who tragically lost his life recently. Those of you who follow the F1 circus closely will no doubt know of his dominance in the Porsche Supercup, and agree with myself and thousands of others that were he still alive he would be able to wrap up the championship with a 5th place finish at either of the final 2 rounds at the final race at Abu Dhabi (bearing in mind his worst place finish all season has been 5th). This is a petition to attempt to persuade Porsche to make the final race a non-points scoring memorial race. Please sign it, or if you’re reading this James please share it and let all your other readers know about it… http://www.change.org/petitions/porsche-motorsport-make-the-final-race-of-the-2013-supercup-season-a-non-points-race

  22. A surprise? Only because his name hasn’t been plastered all over the media in the way Sainz Jr and de Costa have been. What is Red Bull’s (the drinks product) footprint in Russia? Call me an old cynic but wouldn’t this be a better marketing option to have a Russian sporting star onboard to develop the market with the added good fortune of the first Russian GP focussing a lot of media attention rather than promoting sportsmen from already mature markets?

    1. JCA says:

      Red Bull admitted that they made that mistake with Scott Speed. I doubt they’d do it again.

    2. David Goss says:

      Sound reasoning, but aren’t Red Bull looking to offload the team? If so, the marketing angle is moot.

    3. Hendo says:

      The soft drinks market in Russia in 2011 was approx. US$14,5 billion.
      DK wouldnt really have to bring much cash to the team when the ROI is a nice chunk of $14 billion

  23. Scuderia McLaren says:

    At least he has some jnr pedigree and proven ability. He seems fast over a lap and capable of winning races in parity jnr formulae. Being in F1 with STR will polish up his races ala Ricciardo. But the native speed is present. So from that perspective IDGAF if he got in with Russian money or not.

    This is F1, it ain’t always fair, sorry Felix, but the kid has speed, money and is from a nation F1 needs. Schumacher was the same. He actually wasn’t the prodigy in jnr’s, though was if course good, but F1 needed to tap Germany and Mercedes backed him too. Ces’t la vie.

    The bigger issue I have is with Sirotkin. He is in with Russian money as well, but unlike Kvyat he has no proven capacity to win in any jnr parity based formulae or even show a turn of pure pace. It’s quite a worry because it seems this boy is in based purely on his passport. That’s not the case with Kvyat.

    1. mpiligrim says:

      Finally I’ve found a decent comment, that I can 100% agree with. Thank you. From Russia with love.

    2. BM says:

      It’s not only Sirotkin’s passport. He actually is the son of the General Director of one of the Russian investors in Sauber. It will be interesting to see what Sauber does, if Sirotkin does not perform. If he doesn’t get to drive, you can be sure there will be no more money coming. (That’s if there will be money coming at all)

  24. TMax says:

    He sure looks like Vettel’s kid brother ….

    Marko and Red Bull in the hunt for next Vettel given that in 2016 Vettel will move to the red overalls at Maranello.

    The only question is after Alonso moves to McLaren in 2015 who will drive the Prancing horse with Kim in 2015 !!!!!!

    1. Rudy says:

      Don’t worry, for sure there will be another Russian with lots of quid. It is Formula~$, rather than F1.

  25. Adam says:

    Don’t like to be cynical but I smell Russian Roubles. Big piles of them.

    1. Basil says:

      Good luck trailing them, share if you’ve done so.

    2. James says:

      Take a look at Kvyats junior record. Then look at Da Costa & Sainz Jrs.

      1. zootrees says:

        It is really annoying how oblivious it is, Kvyat is good that is all that is to it.

  26. Rohan says:

    It’s all in the name….

    Toro Rosso went through a period of pretty much only putting Sebatians/Sebastiens in their cars. Now, it’s time for a group of Daniels/Daniils (and such variants).

    Also, Daniil continues the fine tradition of consecutive letterered drivers in F1 – looks like destiny to me!

    1. Ronnie says:

      That is funny. So true, how they found so many Sebs was beyond me. Now it’s Dan’s turn. Vettel was the 2nd Seb. And DK is the 2nd Dan, looking like VET’s brother from Russia. I hope he will create the kind of drive VET brought in 2007 & 2008!

  27. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Perhaps this is a partial red herring and the real news is that AFDC or Sainz is also promoted and that JEV is dropped? After all, TR has a record of clearing the decks.

  28. quest says:

    Maybe Red Bull have a rule that when a driver is promoted from TR to RB, they should be replaced by a driver of the same name. Seb replaced Seb and now Dan replacing Dan.

    It seems Da Costa tweeted about getting the seat which means he was strung along till the last moment.

    1. David Goss says:

      True to form for STR, then. They told Jaime and Buemi they had seats for 2012 right up until they axed them both.

  29. johnny bravo says:

    James, any comments about other possible signing – there are quite a lot of rumours of Honda badly needing Alonso in McLaren. Some say it’s already a done deal for 2015 – Brawn, Alonso & Magnussen in McLaren Honda.

  30. Joe says:

    Some people are quick to jump to financial conclusions. On the basis of Kyvat’s results, this guy doesn’t seem anything like Sauber’s Sirotkin. His results are strong, especially in F3.

    His technical feedback to Toro Rosso during the Young Drivers Test last July is also a good indicator. Good results in different championships with different tyres, can certainly not be a bad thing as the sport looks to at its most protective over its tyres as it’s ever been.

    Could it turn out to be too much, soon for him next year? Of course it could. But right now, this guy seems exciting. Have to feel bad for da Costa though. Hopefully he can recover from such a decision and perhaps be in F1 in 2015.

    1. James Allen says:

      As the story says, he’s the young driver the older ones in Red Bull programme really rate, as we said a few months ago. All the noise was about da Costa and Sainz, but Kvyat had serious support internally

      1. TP says:

        But surely James the best bet, given the new regs and Kvyat’s youth would be to give Da Costa a shot and send Kvyat to GP2. In 2 years the guy will still only be 21!

        Which for me reinforces the view of many here that this is money/nationality related. I don’t doubt the kid is a massive talent, but why so soon in his career? Oh there’s a Russian GP next year.

      2. SteveS says:

        I don’t see what the new regs have to do with anything. Kyvat is at no more of a disadvantage with them than is Da Costa, or Alonso. Nor is he that young, he’ll be older than Alonso was when he started driving in F1.

      3. Random 79 says:

        If all goes well for Red Bull it could be a win on the performance side as well as the marketing side.

        From that perspective it makes a lot of sense why they signed him.

      4. James says:

        In Melbourne, Kvyat will be the same age nearly to the day as Vettel was in Indianapolis 2007..

        If you are good enough, you are old enough

      5. Mike J says:

        Do you mean internal support from Horner and Webber?…i mean coming from the MW Arden squad as well, currently second in GP3 in their team. i would say that they have great info on him and rate him very high over the last season?

  31. Charlie Styman says:

    Apparently Daniil Kyvat and Antonio Felix Da Costa are flatmates….. Awkward.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I wonder is Kvyat will be asking Da Costa to do the housework while he’s off racing in F1 :)

      1. Kenneth says:

        And remind him to put out the cat!

  32. Fireman says:

    Why don’t they get rid of Vergne and put da Costa or Sainz to the other seat? Or is it easier to compare young driver against established one?

    1. James Allen says:

      With complex new tech on the cars next year you need some experience. Would be crazy to have two rookies in a year like 2014

  33. Jota180 says:

    The RB programme is brutal isn’t it?

    The way I see it, they are only interested in spectacularly good drivers and they think they’ve seen that in Kvyat, maybe they have.
    JEV and Riciardo are just being used, JEV as a baseline and Riciardo as a points scorer/wing man to Vettel and then maybe to the next no: 1 in the team.
    I don’t think either of them will ever sit at the top RB table

  34. Warren G says:

    Whatever happened to actually being a man first before getting to F1? This kid is way to young and the difference between GP3 and F1 is huge. Unless he’s a serious talent on the level of Hamilton or Raikkonen, his career will be over before it begins.

    1. Ronnie says:

      Last I checked, Vettel did “OK” compared to HAM and RAI, his pre-F1 record was splatter with defeat from Hamilton and Di Resta alike, and he was 19 when scored his first championship point. Actually, he just started to look like a man this year.

      I know, there are still people who believe that the 4-time consecutive WDC elect has no serious talent. But those people need to have their brains checked.

      To be honest, I don’t care what the driver is like – young, old, white, black, green, blue, red, male, female, earthy, alien, rich, poor, sunny, shady, as long as he/she is fast and the engineers can fit him/her in under the rules, it’s good.

    2. K says:

      This ‘man’ talk is just hilarious.

      Alonso was 19 when he entered F1 btw. So was Vettel and Button. They are all F1 champions.

  35. Jon Wilde says:

    Toro Rosso manage to retain their reputation as the team to make radical driver line up decisions!

    Based on the twitter feed of Felix da Costa is seems as if he expected the announcement to be coming his way as little as an hour before the news.

    In the spirit of the bizarre silly season, and somewhat prompted by the provocative tweets coming from Fernando Alonso in recent days. Is it possible a deal is being put together for Vettel to move to Ferrari in 2014? Kvyat’s announcement is a prelude to bigger announcements once the 2013 championship is sealed.

  36. Anne says:

    …”I don´t care too much for money. Money can´t buy me love…”
    Wait! Hold it right there Fab 4. Money can still buy plenty of F1 seats. That´s what matters

  37. Nunu says:

    I´ve read in a post that James Allen made that in the end Formula 1 is all about the money.
    I love this sport since a child, and I refused to think that. Today I firmly agree on that.

    PERES, GUTIERRES, SIROTKIN

    VS

    PARENTE, FRINJS, VICKENS

    Could someone analyses all the glitches that Felix da Costa had this year in his car (RB car), and there would be so many answers.
    There´s so much money involved that all the sport is becoming vicious. It´s aal about the money.

  38. Rob Newman says:

    Who is this guy? I hope he doesn’t get the Jaime treatment end of next year.

    One driver I really would like to see in F1 sooner than later is Red Bull junior Beitske Visser. She is a fantastic driver and has massive potential. She has done much better than her male colleagues. She has even beaten Ralf Schumacher in karting.

  39. Jordan says:

    Hi James – have you heard opinions on da Costa’s technical ability? Interesting that Red Bull/Toro Rosso pointed out Kvyat’s good feedback after tests, and then if you consider that da Costa has struggled this year in WSR often saying he can’t find the right balance with the car. Perhaps this was a key issue in the decision making?

  40. simon mawdsley says:

    So i recognise this comparison does not take account of team strength, but lets look at some basic GP3 results here

    AFdC – 2 full seasons: 13th, 3rd
    Sainz Jr – 1 season (MW Arden):9th
    DK – 1 season (MW Arden): 2nd

    So DK has wiped the floor with his teammate and smashed AFdC. Compared to Sainz, DK has two wins to none, twice the podiums, and more than double the points. Seems like a no-brainer….unless I’m missing something…..which i probably am

  41. Paul D says:

    Not totally suprised Da Costa didn’t get the nod as he’s had a disapointing season.

    I am suprised by the selection though. Far too young in my eyes and also questionable talent. Seems there may be other motives at play here.

    1. SteveS says:

      Questionable talent? Too young? He’s shown more promise in junior classes of racing than Alonso did, and is joining F1 at a slightly older age than Alonso did.

  42. Elie says:

    James It’s very interesting that teams perhaps don’t seem as focused on GP2 as the benchmark for new signing -is the frenetic driving we’ve seen early on in the careers of Maldonado and Grosjean weighing heavily on teams minds? Really surprised by Red Bull not signing Sainz Jnr- his times were stronger than anyone and immediately on it.

    In the scheme of teams like a Torro Rosso, it’s not such a bad thing to have a rookie- because with the 2014 rules reset- a good young gun can upset the established order if he has the reflexes / sharpeness to handle additional ERS usage and a very different handling car to this year. There is less development pressure than a bigger team too.

    As for JEV – I think there was very little between him an Dan and he was really unlucky to miss out- why will Red Bull do if he shines brighter than Ricciardo — that’s more the question to my mind.

    1. JCA says:

      I think GP2 has been quite the racket for Bernie & friends. All control parts sold at great expense to the teams by FOM affiliates. The result is that nearly all drivers are pay drivers in the traditional sense, not development drivers. The top team’s development programmes prefer FR3.5 as there is more track time, as well as less expense.

  43. speedy_bob says:

    James, Why does RBR (still) have it’s development programme in the first place please?

    Toro Rosso serves that role for RBR and Toro Rosso themselves can pick any driver they want.

    I don’t understand why they keep this costly programme alive?

    1. Ronnie says:

      So that they can give the seat to someone like Kvyat. He IS part of the RB junior team.

  44. Stephen Taylor says:

    Thought this would be an appropriate.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcdmq07u2T8

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      appropriate song.

    2. Random 79 says:

      You should hear the remix “From Russia with money” coming soon to all dodgy record stores near you :)

  45. Kvyat has certainly caught the eye, but I wasn’t expecting him to get any further than a young guns test for another couple of years. Sainz or da Costa would’ve been slightly safer choices, but I don’t think either of them would’ve had an easy time so in a sense perhaps Red Bull are right to back the horse they truly believe in.

    Both this decision and Kvyat put me in mind of Kimi Raikkonen’s rapid ascent to F1. For sure, he won’t have an easy year, but his talent may well shine through.

  46. James says:

    For Da Costa, read Brendon Hartley. The RB programme is a tough world and you are only as good as your last race.

  47. Sarvar says:

    This guy has nothing to do with the people’s stereotype for him being Russian. He might have been from any other country, right? He is making his own luck and as long as he ‘s got the second seat the RB top guys see him be more talented than those 2, that’s how it is.

  48. Rob says:

    1. He did sixteen laps at Silverstone test? ~2.5 seconds off the pace.

    2. Russian driver, first Russian GP next year.

    3. Bernie Ecclestone.

    4. Sochi Olympics prep already being remarked on as one of the biggest $ frauds in history.

    5. The only other question that needs answering is….How much does he weigh?

    1. zootrees says:

      You really missed the mark. He is very talented, comes off as very professional and smart, and is beating Sainz jr to a pulp in GP3. Both Sainz and Da Costa have not been as promising this season as last season. Out of those three, they made the best decision IMO, Kyvat has potental which makes the skip from GP3 to F1 worth the risk.
      Yes he was off the pace at the YDT but like you said he only had 16 laps, which makes his effort impressive and your point useless. Plus he has impressed in other ways, technical understanding being key. I really think his being Russian has little to do with it, he has been part of red bull since 2010. They know him, and toro rosso made their decision based on that. You don’t know him so your basing your info on that…
      With all the complaints, mine included, about pay drivers and talent not getting into F1 it’s sad that a great young driver with real potental has been mislabeled.

  49. Filipe Reis says:

    Kvyat the new Scott Speed or the new Sebastien Bourdais?

    influence over pure talent.

    1. Ronnie says:

      BOU was a true sad case in 2008 – 4 points vs VET 35 points. One can have many excuses, but the gap was devastating.

      I hope Kvyat will be neither. Hope he will be the new Vettel.

      The assumption that if a Russian driver is chosen, it is only because of money is insulting to put it mildly. And I am not even Russian.

  50. Adam says:

    This guy is a total unknown, and is massively unproven – how he’s had a chance to demonstrate his ‘talent’ is a mystery to me. Can’t help but think of Perry McCarthy’s excellent book about the struggles of a real proven talent to make it to F1.

    1. zootrees says:

      Do you mean unknown to you?!? He has been with red bull for 3 years, I think toro rosso know what they are doing.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      I think google will cure all your mysteries. Do a look up against your non-mysterious talent track record.

    3. Adam says:

      His record really is nothing special. It’s not bad but drivers got better results than him in all his seasons so far. He’s won a handful of very junior races.

  51. JCA says:

    On the subject feeder series, Interestingly, Ferrari are considering combining DTM with either GP2 or FR3.5 for Raffaele Marciello, their top prospect of the moment in their development program. According to Luca Baldisserri:

    “GP2, because it’s the same tracks as Formula 1 and the same tyres, so he can get used to the Pirelli behaviour.”

    “World Series by Renault, which is a very good package, a lot of downforce, really good tyres with a lot of grip in the corners and a good championship.”

    “And then I think there’s DTM as well. In terms of professional qualities of the teams, it’s the closest to Formula 1. And for a young driver, having the possibility to have some rhythm with a really organised and professional team is important.”

    Source: Autosport.

  52. Le Mister says:

    Tea leaf : I’m not a Hamilton fan, I’m a Racing fan. And I actually quite like the top 3 (alo ham and vet). I don’t dislike any driver.

  53. Le Mister says:

    Magny Cours 2007 : Alonso’s pass on Heidfelt almost made me fall off my seat, that’s an overtaking manoeuvre! Or Kimi on Fisi Suzuka 2005! Work of art! Like an amazing goal. Montoya on Schumi in Brazil. I prefer to watch a race with only one trully special overtake than 20 meaningless moves.

  54. Richard says:

    Why is everybody making a problem of this Russian lad? I don’t like Russia, the Russian gouverment is one big bag of lies yes I know that, but what does tis lad has to do with that? Throw him into the car and then we should judge.

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