The decision to retain Daniil Kvyat at Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2017 Formula 1 season was the right thing to do, according to Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner.
Last week it was confirmed that Kvyat will continue to partner Carlos Sainz Jr next season, despite people expecting Red Bull junior and current GP2 Series title contender Pierre Gasly to be promoted. This decision came as a relative surprise, except for Horner who believes it’s too early to throw in the towel on him.
“It is the right thing to do,” Horner said. “Daniil had a tough year this year. He had a sensible year last year.
“His confidence took a dent, understandably, and he has worked on rebuilding himself and sort of got it together. At 21, 22, it is too early to throw in the towel on Daniil. It was the right decision to have given him another chance. You will see him turn it around.”
When asked if the Russian could possibly return to a race seat with Red Bull Racing, Horner said the prospect is not currently on the table, as their seats are fixed with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen contracted until 2018.
“It is not an option in the next couple of years because our seats are fixed,” added Horner. “We believed it was our best option to leave him in that car.
“He is still very young. He is a quick driver, he demonstrated that last year. And he deserves a chance to try and regroup and re-establish himself.”
Despite Gasly not being promoted to a F1 race seat, Horner reiterated he is still very much part of the team and their commitment to the Frenchman’s future.
“He will remain part of the team,” added Horner. “His priority is to try and win the GP2 championship. He is very valued.
“He is conducting good work for us. He did the tyre test last week, which is how high we regard him. We are in a fortunate position that we have got good talent around us.
“What his race program is, I don’t know, but in terms of Red Bull Racing he will be test and reserve driver and conducting a lot of simulation work and whatever else comes down the pipe.”