Christian Horner, the Red Bull boss, has said that Daniil Kvyat deserved a new contract at Toro Rosso as it was too soon to give up on a driver that he axed from the senior team just five months ago.
After a lot of speculation Kvyat’s F1 stay was confirmed last weekend with the Russian, who will be partnering Carlos Sainz next season, saying that Toro Rosso felt like “home”.
The news comes towards the end of a season that threatened to derail his whole career with Kvyat demoted back down to the junior team after just four races. However, Horner, while adamant that Red Bull made the right call in replacing him with Max Verstappen, says that he is pleased the youngster has a second chance.
Speaking after the weekend he said that he recommended that they “keep him in the car.” He said that Daniil has had “a tough year this year. His confidence took a dent, understandably, but he’s worked at rebuilding himself and got it together. At 22 years of age, I think it’s too early to throw in the towel on him. It’s the right decision to give him another chance and I think we’ll see him turn it around.”
Kvyat seems to have regrouped after the summer break and equalled his best ever Toro Rosso finish when he came in ninth in Singapore. However, with both Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo secure until 2018 there doesn’t seem to be a chance for Kvyat to earn himself a Red Bull promotion.
The new deal means that GP2 title challenger Pierre Gasly, the next driver in line for promotion in Red Bull’s junior programme, seems set to miss out on an F1 seat for 2017.