Red Bull youngster Daniil Kvyat is set to take part in two practice sessions in the remaining four races of the F1 season ahead of his promotion to a full-time seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso next season.
Kvyat’s announcement on Monday came as something of a surprise to the Formula One world after fellow Red Bull junior Antonio Felix da Costa had been considered the obvious replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, with Carlos Sainz Jr. another consideration. However, following an impressive showing in GP3 this season, nineteen-year-old Kvyat has done enough to earn himself a spot on the grid for next season, driving alongside Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso.
The Russian will not take part in any sessions for Toro Rosso until his GP3 campaign finishes in Abu Dhabi. He heads into the final two rounds trailing championship leader Facu Regalia by just seven points, meaning that he could become the second GP3 champion to reach F1 following Valtteri Bottas’ debut at the beginning of the season.
However, Kvyat will enjoy his first official running at a grand prix weekend at the United States Grand Prix in November, stepping in for either Daniel Ricciardo or Jean-Eric Vergne. This will then be followed by another run-out at the final round of the season in Brazil as he looks to secure his superlicense ahead of his debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.