Daniil Kvyat has become the surprise winner of silly season’s latest plot twist as the 2015 Formula 1 driver market begins to take shape.
It was confirmed this morning that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel would be leaving Red Bull after six seasons with the team and over 15 years with links to the brand.
The German driver is widely expected to join Ferrari, replacing Fernando Alonso at Maranello as he goes in search of a new challenge.
Despite only being informed of Vettel’s decision last night, Red Bull was quick to put its contingency plan in place, confirming that Kvyat – who only made his debut at the beginning of 2014 – would be drafted in from Toro Rosso as a replacement.
Kvyat’s rookie season has not yielded a huge number of points, but the Russian has put in some very impressive displays. He boasts an attitude that reaches beyond his 20 years, and is the ‘next big thing’ in Red Bull’s young driver programme.
Few would have expected him to enjoy such a swift promotion, but Kvyat feels that he is ready to race at the highest level in F1.
“Yes, I’m confident I am [ready],” he said. “Obviously Red Bull rely on me. They show certain trust by making this decision, which I really appreciate.
“This kind of decision is taken because they know what kind of driver I am, and I will do my best to prove them right.”
Kvyat had been due to enjoy a second season with Toro Rosso alongside 17-year-old Max Verstappen, but has now freed up a seat at Red Bull’s B-team that looks set to be taken by Carlos Sainz Jr.