Kvyat best ‘in medium term’ for Toro Rosso – Marko (VIDEO)

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Red Bull motorsport director Helmut Marko says Daniil Kvyat was the best “medium term” choice for Toro Rosso next year.

Kvyat emerged as the team’s surprise choice of driver for 2014 on Monday, getting the nod over Red Bull junior team competitors Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

“We were looking what is best for Red Bull, what is best for Toro Rosso in the medium term,” said Marko. “And all the people who had been involved in this decision decided yes, Daniil Kvyat is the right candidate.”

Marko said Kvyat’s appointment was not related to the inaugural Russian Grand Prix taking place next year. Sauber are also giving consideration to Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin as a potential driver for next year.

Marko expects Kvyat won’t take long to get up to speed with team mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who will start his third season with Toro Rosso next year. “I would say after six to eight races he should be in a position to challenge Jean-Eric Vergne,” he said.

Kvyat will drive in the GP3 support races at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next week. He goes into the final rounds of the season eight points behind championship leader Facu Regalia.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.