Daniil Kvyat says that Red Bull chose him to join Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso next season as he was the best performing youngster inside the junior team.
Kvyat, 19, beat fellow Red Bull junior drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr to the vacant seat alongside Vergne in 2014.
Kvyat has competed in F3 and GP3 this season and heads to the final round in Abu Dhabi in contention for the GP3 crown.
Da Costa finished in third place in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series while Sainz is currently ninth in GP3.
“My phone went crazy but I am the same person. I got a phone call from [Helmut] Marko and it was a very great day for me,” Kvyat said of the decision to give him the Toro Rosso drive.
“To be honest I was expecting this call as the last few races have been good. For sure it was a little bit of a surprise, you can never completely know these things.”
“For sure there is always competition at Red Bull, but this time I have been the best and that’s why I have been chosen. Red Bull looks at performance, it’s the only thing that matters. So this is how it went.”
“It proves that the Red Bull junior team works really well.”
2009 world champion Jenson Button believes that Kvyat may have been better off spending a couple more years in junior categories.
“Of course he is thinking it is a great break and he is going to race in F1 but, if you could have the choice of entering F1 at 19 after a year in F3 and GP3, or doing a couple of years in a different category, you would definitely go for a couple more years,” Button told Autosport.
“There is so much to learn that I didn’t understand when I came into the sport, and it is a real shock for someone 19, who has to also learn to drive an F1 car and have to work with a KERS power unit, which is completely new and alien to most of us. I think it is so easy to go ‘I want to be in F1 now’. So you take the opportunity. It is a lot more difficult to turn something down but that is the right thing to do for most people.”
In order to aid Kvyat’s development, the Russian will test a two year old Formula 1 car prior to participating in free practice for Toro Rosso in America and Brazil.