Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team principal Franz Tost believes that Daniil Kvyat deserves another chance in Formula 1 as the Russian completes his move back with the Italian team.
Kvyat will rejoin Toro Rosso for the 2019 Formula 1 Season as the replacement for Pierre Gasly, who’ll make the jump to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing next year.
The Russian has spent 2018 on the sidelines with Scuderia Ferrari as the team’s simulator and development driver. Kvyat was dropped from the Red Bull programme and Toro Rosso before the 2017 season ended in favour of Gasly and Brendon Hartley.
But the Russian will return back in 2019 as Gasly will make the transition to being team-mates with Max Verstappen.
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost says that Kvyat deserves another shot in F1, claiming that he is a highly skilled driver who has proven his worth over the years.
“Pierre Gasly’s impressive performance since he made his F1 debut last year has landed him a drive with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing next year,” said Tost.
“It is well deserved and from a Toro Rosso point of view, I am pleased that, once again, a driver from Helmut Marko’s Red Bull Junior Programme has stepped up to Red Bull Racing – mission accomplished!
“As for Daniil’s return, I believe he deserves another chance in Formula 1. Daniil is a high skilled driver with fantastic natural speed, which he has proven several times in his career.”
This will be Kvyat’s third stint at Toro Rosso, having joined the team in 2014 after winning the 2013 GP3 Series. After one year, he was promoted to Red Bull as veteran Sebastian Vettel moved away to join Ferrari. The Russian impressed with a podium finish and finishing ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the drivers’ championship.
But in 2016 after two race starting incidents with Vettel and Ricciardo in China and Russia, he was swapped for Verstappen at Toro Rosso for the remainder of the season. The Dutch driver would win in his first outing in Red Bull colours at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Kvyat would struggle to get his pace back since the demotion which eventually led to his departure in 2017, but Tost is convinced that the Russian has matured since his time away from the sport as he welcomes him back to the team.
“There were some difficult situations he had to face in the past, but I’m convinced that having had time to mature as a person away from the races will help him show his undeniable capabilities on track,” added Tost.
“We’ll push very hard to provide him with a good package, and I feel the best is yet to come from his side. That’s why we are happy to welcome him back to our team, to start a successful season together.”
The second seat at Toro Rosso remains undecided yet but Hartley looks likely he will retain on for next year. But latest paddock rumors suggest the possibility of Pascal Wehrlein joining the team, who recently ended his contract with Mercedes-Benz.