Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that Daniil Kvyat will be joining the team next year in place of Pierre Gasly, who has been promoted to Red Bull Racing. This will be Kvyat’s third stint with Toro Rosso, having raced for the team in 2014 and then again from early 2016 after being demoted from the senior Red Bull team.
He was dropped from the Red Bull driver programme after the 2017 United States Grand Prix and joined Ferrari as a development driver, but has been freed up to return to his original backer.
"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. Toro Rosso has always made me feel at home and I'm sure it will still be the same next season,” said Kvyat.
“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 and 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."
Commenting on the team’s decision to sign Kvyat, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said: “I believe he (Kvyat) 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 news of Kvyat’s signing leaves just a handful of seats up for grabs on the 2019 F1 grid, including the second seat at Toro Rosso since the team has yet not confirmed whether Brandon Hartley will continue racing with them next year.