RACE DEBRIEF

    He lost both his seat at Toro Rosso and his Red Bull backing last season – but Daniil Kvyat will be back in familiar surroundings next year, with the Italian squad confirming on Saturday his return to their cockpit…

    In a remarkable turnaround, Toro Rosso – who have at least one 2019 seat available due to Pierre Gasly’s promotion to Red Bull – have opted to re-sign the Russian, having handed the racer his Formula 1 debut back in 2014.

    “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.

    Kvyat enjoyed his first spell with Toro Rosso, and earned a promotion to Red Bull for 2015 alongside Daniel Ricciardo. But a tough season in 2016 – which saw him traded back to Toro Rosso in place of Max Verstappen after just four incident-strewn rounds – was followed up by another unhappy stint at Toro Rosso in 2017, with the Russian ultimately losing his F1 seat at the tail end of the year. He was handed a role as Ferrari’s development driver for 2018.

    “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. 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.”

    The 24-year-old brings with him some sizeable F1 experience, with 72 Grands Prix starts to his name, and having notched up 133 points along the way, with a career-best finish of second at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The fall and rise of Daniil Kvyat

    "I believe he deserves another chance in Formula 1," said Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost. "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.”

    Toro Rosso, who made the announcement ahead of the Kvyat’s home Grand Prix in Russia this weekend, are yet to confirm whether Brendon Hartley will retain his seat with the team for 2019.

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