In a shock move, Toro Rosso has decided to sign former driver Daniil Kvyat to replace Pierre Gasly in 2019 after dropping him completely in late 2017.
The Russian driver was one of Red Bulls hopefuls and got promoted quickly to the senior team after Sebastian Vettel moved to Ferrari.
He scored Red Bull’s first podium of 2016, including an infamously tense confrontation with Vettel. Unfortunately, another clash with the German saw him demoted back to Toro Rosso with Max Verstappen taking his place. Following a poor run of form with Toro Rosso, he was dropped completely after the 2017 US Grand Prix.
He was then picked up by Ferrari as reserve driver, where he has been since.
“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, “ Said Kvyat.
“Toro Rosso has always made me feel at home and I’m sure it will still be the same next season,” he continued. “I would also like to thank Ferrari for trusting my driving skills which allowed me to stay connected to F1 as their development driver.
“I never gave up hope of racing again, I am still young and I have kept in good shape to always be prepared in case another opportunity presented itself.“
The return of Kvyat appears to have come as Red Bull doesn’t have any drivers currently eligible for an F1 Super licence in their driver programme. The closest being Dan Ticktum currently in F3, who was rejected the chance to test for Red Bull to his lack of points.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said:
“I believe he deserves another chance in Formula 1. Daniil is a highly 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.“
It is unknown who will partner Kvyat with Brendon Hartley’s future uncertain.