The news that Daniil Kvyat will race for Toro Rosso in 2014 came as a surprise, as many expected Antonio Felix da Costa to replace Red Bull bound Daniel Ricciardo, with Kvyat stepping up to Formula Renault 3.5. Instead, Kvyat will make the leap into Formula 1, racing alongside current driver Jean-Eric Vergne for the Faenza based team. So just who is Daniil Kvyat?
Kvyat was born in Ufa, Russia, in April 1994 but he and his family moved to Italy early on in his racing career. He made his single seater debut, with backing from Red Bull, in 2010 and achieved moderately successful results in Formula BMW.
He raced in Formula Renault 2.0 and NEC in 2011, claiming nine victories across both categories, and finished a close second to McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne, in 2.0 in 2012.
Kvyat won seven races in Formula Renault 2.0, compared to Vandoorne’s four, but the Belgian’s consistency trumped Kvyat after the Russian endured a disastrous last race of the season in changeable conditions.
Kvyat endured a challenging start to his debut GP3 campaign but has come to life across the past two race weekends, winning at Spa and Monza and coming close to doing the double at the Italian circuit. As a result of his resurgence, he sits just seven points behind series leader Facu Regalia ahead of the championship finale in Abu Dhabi at the start of November.
Kvyat joined Formula 3 after the pre-season deadline, meaning that he raced as a guest driver who was ineligible for points. He missed the opening two rounds of the year but claimed pole position on his first weekend at Hockenheim; with a further four poles following at the Red Bull Ring and Zandvoort. Kvyat won just the once, but had he been eligible for points, he would have been fifth in the standings.
Kvyat only has brief experience of Formula 1 machinery. The Russian tested for Toro Rosso at the young driver test at Silverstone in July, completing 22 laps, his running curtailed by a spin into the gravel. He also conducted a straight line test for Red Bull last week.