Toro Rosso has announced the signing of Daniil Kvyat for the 2019 Formula 1 season as the Russian returns to the Red Bull fold.
The journey for Kvyat with Red Bull ended last year post the US Grand Prix after two years of trauma when he was dropped from the senior team midway in 2016 to make way for Max Verstappen due to several errors.
It was hard for Kvyat to cope up in Toro Rosso for the rest of 2016 and also in 2017 which forced Red Bull to bring in Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley in the team with Carlos Sainz moving to Renault in a mid-season shuffle.
Kvyat looked around for months before settling with Ferrari in a simulator role in 2018. However, with the approach from Red Bull coming for Kvyat to rejoin Toro Rosso for the 2019 season, the agreement has been reached between the two parties.
The Russian will replace Gasly in the team who moves to Red Bull alongside Verstappen. It is a surprise that Kvyat decides to get back to the team which discarded him midway in the season but the urge to race in F1 seems to have pushed him to take the call.
“First of all, I would like to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this opportunity to race in Formula 1 again and I am particularly pleased to be returning to a team I know very well,” he said.
“Toro Rosso has always made me feel at home and I’m sure it will still be the same next season. I would also like to thank Ferrari for trusting my driving skills which allowed me to stay connected to F1 as their development driver.
“Even if my duties were primarily simulator based, I’ve learnt a lot, and I now feel stronger and better prepared than when I left Toro Rosso. I never gave up hope of racing again, I am still young.
“I have kept in good shape to always be prepared in case another opportunity presented itself. I will give my best to deliver what the team expects from me and I can’t wait for everything to start again.”
Franz Tost added: “Pierre Gasly’s impressive performance since he made his F1 debut last year has landed him a drive with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing next year. It is well deserved and from a Toro Rosso point of view, I am pleased that, once again, a driver from Helmut Marko’s Red Bull Junior Programme has stepped up to Red Bull Racing – mission accomplished.
“As for Daniil’s return, I believe he deserves another chance in Formula 1. Daniil is a high skilled driver with fantastic natural speed, which he has proven several times in his career. There were some difficult situations he had to face in the past, but I’m convinced that having had time to mature as a person away from the races will help him show his undeniable capabilities on track.
“We’ll push very hard to provide him with a good package, and I feel the best is yet to come from his side. That’s why we are happy to welcome him back to our team, to start a successful season together.”
The release specifically states that Kvyat is replacing Gasly in the team which means for now Brendon Hartley is the other driver as the Kiwi insists of having a contract. The team though is yet to confirm as the wait continues on.