The prospects of Russian drivers having a presence in F1 again is improving ahead of the country’s inaugural race next year.
Yesterday Sauber announced it was bringing Sergey Sirotkin into its Young Driver Program and suggested he could race for the team as early as next year.
Now Toro Rosso have announced they are giving a test to another young Russian racer: Daniil Kvyat, who is part of Red Bull’s young driver program.
Kvyat, a 19-year-old from the Republic of Bashkortostan who speaks four languages, is racing in the F1-supporting GP3 championship and the FIA’s European Formula Three series this year. Last year he won the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS championship and finished as runner-up to McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the European series.
Kvyat will drive the STR8 on Friday afternoon. Another Red Bull junior team member, Carlos Sainz Jnr, will also have a run in the car, as will Venezuelan GP2 driver Johnny Cecotto Jnr. The team’s race drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will also be on hand to test Pirelli’s new tires for the next race.
Sainz will also test for Red Bull as well as another of their young test drivers, Antonio Felix da Costa.
Meanwhile Force India have announced they will give a test to British GP2 driver James Calado as well as running both their race drivers.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.