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Toro Rosso keeps faith with Daniil Kvyat for 2017: Redemption for Russian F1 star

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Toro Rosso keeps faith with Daniil Kvyat for 2017: Redemption for Russian F1 star
Oct 22, 2016, 3:48 PM

Daniil Kvyat's nightmare 2016 season has a silver lining; he has been retained by Toro Rosso for 2017, giving him a lifeline to build an ongoing F1...

Daniil Kvyat's nightmare 2016 season has a silver lining; he has been retained by Toro Rosso for 2017, giving him a lifeline to build an ongoing F1 career.

He will partner Carlos Sainz again next season in the Toro Rosso, which will be powered by the Renault engine and the package is expected to be more competitive than this season.

The Russian started the season as a works Red Bull Racing driver, but after triggering a startline accident in Russia, taking out Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and making contact with his own team mate Daniel Ricciardo, he was brutally axed and replaced by Max Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz Daniil Kvyat

As ever in F1 the truth was more complex than that, with relations inside Toro Rosso between Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and the management getting pretty difficult and change was clearly needed. Also the threat from Ferrari and Mercedes to take Verstappen away from the Red Bull company weighed heavily. They needed to nail down the Dutch sensation long term and the swicth made sense from that point of view.

So Helmut Marko, the F1 director of Red Bull, did the pragmatic thing and swapped Verstappen and Kvyat. The Dutchman won the Spanish Grand Prix on his Red Bull Racing debut.

The Russian looked shell shocked and took time to rediscover his confidence. He was at a very low ebb before the summer break losing his way on set up and totally devoid of confidence. But he has looked much more like his old self since the seaosn resumed - although he has only scored points in three races - and his retention is the right decision. The seat was under threat from Pierre Gasly, the French GP2 driver, but he seems to have fallen out of favour after making some ill considered remarks about replacing Kvyat before the end of 2016.

The move means that Kvyat will be in the game at the end of next season, when the driver market is likely to open up and we should see quite a bit of movement. There should be at least one seat going at Ferrari, McLaren may see changes and this will trigger quita a shuffle. For this reason Sergio Perez has kept his options open with a one year renewal at Force India, for example. The second Renault seat alongside Nico Hulkenberg is likely to be filled by a driver on a one year deal, as Renault will be looking to hire a bigger name for 2018. There is much to play for.

XPB.cc Daniil Kvyat

Also the fact that next season brings in a major new set of technical regulations means that there is value in continuuity and working with experienced drivers, rather than rookies. This seems to have played quite a significant part in Toro Rosso's decision.

"There are so many new elements coming to Formula 1 in general and to our team specifically, in terms of the change of power unit supplier, that having the same two drivers gives us stability and a benchmark to work from." said team principal Franz Tost. "For Carlos, it will be his third year with us, which speaks volumes when it comes to how highly we rate him. In recent races, it has been clear that Daniil is back on top form. I always told him that his future with us was in his hands and he has stepped up to the mark and delivered the sort of performances that have ensured his 2017 seat in the STR 12. We now have a very talented and strong driver pairing to tackle a season in which we expect to be very competitive.”

Daniil Kvyat

"I’d like to thank Red Bull, Dr. Marko and all the team for their support and the faith they have shown in me since I returned to the team earlier this year," said Kvyat. "I’m very happy to stay with a team that feels like home to me. I’m really looking forward to continuing the hard work together in 2017 and I’m really aiming high. I will always be fully dedicated, giving my ‘200%’, and I will be pushing as hard as I usually do, that’s for sure. I’m delighted!”

Do you think Toro Rosso has made the right call to retain Kvyat? Leave your comment below

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