Formula 1

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 2, Vallelunga (I)

FORMULA 3 DRIVER DANIIL KVYAT GETS F1 SEAT—

Red Bull junior driver Daniil Kvyat will be racing for the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team next season. The 19-year-old Russian, who is based in Rome, has been competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this season. He was very successful in his first Formula 3 year with the British squad Carlin, even though he was not able to score points while being a guest starter: In the third weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg at the beginning of May, Kvyat already scored his first podium finish. Moreover, the young Russian was on the podium after finishing second in all three races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. For the frontrunner, the undisputed season highlight was the weekend at Zandvoort in September with one victory, one second and one fourth place. Due to test drives with his new Formula 1 car, the Red Bull junior driver had to miss the final event of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at Hockenheim.

After his maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Kvyat commented: “Winning a race in such a high-level championship represents a lot in my opinion and even more for the people following my career. I have to thank the Carlin team as I’ve learned a lot with them. Formula 3 is a branch of the sport in which we absorb very important information in the technical area, so it’s great to be racing with such a team. Now I’ve become a member of the very select club of Red Bull drivers who’ve won a race in Formula 3 with Carlin, in particular Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. If I can follow in their footsteps one day that’ll suit me down to the ground!”

Next season, Kvyat will now be racing alongside Jean-Eric Vergne for the Scuderia Toro Rosso; so that 2014 Scuderia Toro Rosso will feature a 100 percent Formula 3 driver line-up in Formula 1. The Russian was thus given the nod over Antonio Félix da Costa, who had tested for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso in July. So far, Kvyat kept a rather low profile, but is now all the more exited about this incredible step in his career: “This is fantastic news, a dream come true and I want to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this priceless opportunity. Ever since I began karting, I wanted to get to Formula 1 and now that wish will become reality next season. I had a brief taste of working with the Toro Rosso team, when I drove for them at the Silverstone test and I enjoyed the experience very much. The fact I am based in Italy and speak Italian will, I am sure, help me to become part of the team very quickly.”

For decades, Formula 3 has been the ideal stepping stone into motorsport’s premier category, Formula 1. Not less than 17 drivers of the 2013 line-up of the F1 honed their skills in Formula 3. Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Mika Häkkinen, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna, to name but a few examples from the last three decades, all moved up through the ranks of Formula 3 into the sport’s top class. In the years to come, Kvyat’s name could also be added to this list