With the inaugural Russian Grand Prix next year around the winter Olympic park in Sochi, many who follow F1 expected to find a Russian on the grid for the following year. With funding much easier to find for a high profile race launch, this happened around the launch of the Indian Grand Prix which saw Karun Chandok and Narain Karthiekyan find money to fund their racing.
While it was likely that another Russian would make their way to the gird at some point we didn’t expect this one (at least not this year, he has a good Junior career thus far) and we also didn’t expect one in this team.
Scuderia Toro Rosso (The Red Bull Junior team) announced this morning that they will have Daniil Kvyat race in the space left by Daniel Ricciardo’s move to the full Red Bull team. The driver was somewhat an outside bet behind Felix Da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr to land the seat but his impressive maiden GP3 campaign (where he sits just 7 points behind the series leader with a round still to go) alongside successful adventures in F3 this season have lead to STR taking the plunge with the 19 year old.
The STR team are not short of cash and the Red Bull Drivers Program is one of the few out their that promote drivers based on talent, however you have to be flavour of the month when its time to make changes and the programme could certainly be described as ruthless. People did expect Russian money this season to land a spot or two towards the rear of the grid but Russia’s second F1 driver will arrive without a single Rouble making up the numbers for the seat, which only bodes well for his chances. But the timing will certainly raise a few eyebrows.
Daniil will follow in the footsteps of Valtteri Bottas who made the jump from GP3 straight to F1 with Willaims this season.