Russian driver Danill Kvyat will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next season, alongside Jean-Eric Vergne after beating off competition from ...
Russian driver Danill Kvyat will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next season, alongside Jean-Eric Vergne after beating off competition from Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr – but who is the 19-year-old and what is his level of experience in motorsport?
Well Kvyat has secured two wins in the last four races of the GP3 Championship, a support series to Formula 1, to trail championship leader Facu Regalia by just seven points heading into the doubleheader decider in Abu Dhabi next month.
If the 19-year-old goes on to win the title, in his debut season, he would follow the same path as Valtteri Bottas, who skipped GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 after winning the 2011 GP3 title to progress straight to Formula 1 with Williams.
As well as his GP3 campaign, where he competes for MW Arden - which is co-owned by Mark Webber and Christian Horner, Kvyat is also driving for Carlin in the Formula 3 European Championship. The Russian took pole on his debut mid-season and has gone on to take a further five pole positions.
Even if he doesn’t win the GP3 title, his ability to switch between two different series, with two different sets of machinery, and perform competitively across both will stand him in good stead ahead of his Formula 1 debut.
When he gets behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso next season, it won’t be for the first time. The Russian took part in the young driver test at Silverstone earlier this year, completing 16 laps in a Toro Rosso.
Kvyat started racing karts aged eight and finished third in the KF3 European Championship as well as second in the Asia Pacific championship in 2008.
He graduated to single seaters in 2010, with the backing of Red Bull, and made his debut at Sepang in the Formula BMW Pacific championship. The Russian secured two wins and three other podiums in the series.
The following year, he took seven wins in 20 races in the North European Cup to finish second behind Sainz Jr in the standings. Kvyat also took third in the Formula Renault Eurocup. In 2012, he won the ALPS title as well as finishing second behind McLaren junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the Eurocup.When he makes his Formula 1 debut next season, he will become the second Russia driver to do so after Vitaly Petrov, who competed in 57 Grands Prix for Renault, Lotus and Caterham.
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