Will Kvyat be able to beat Sainz at Toro Rosso in 2017?

Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Contributor

Daniil Kvyat is the preference for Toro Rosso Boss Franz Tost and apparently Helmut Marko too. The young Russian has denied the promising Pierre Gasly a race seat in 2017 with an upsurge in form in recent Grand Prix.

Kvyat has been an unfortunate journeyman this season, his demotion emotionless and clinical after scoring the first podium of the year for Red Bull Racing. Since returning to Toro Rosso at the Spanish Grand Prix, he has managed three points finishes and accumulated 4-points for the team. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz has been one of the standout drivers of the season with seven top-ten finishes and 34-points since Kvyat’s return.

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 23: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 Ferrari 060/5 turbo on track during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2016 in Austin, United States.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 23: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 Ferrari 060/5 turbo on track during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2016 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

There has been a chasm between the teammates in terms of performance, so what is Kvyat’s target for 2017 now he’s signed up? He said,

“I’m very happy to stay with a team that feels like home to me. I’m really looking forward to continuing the hard work together in 2017 and I’m really aiming high.

I will always be fully dedicated, giving my ‘200%’, and I will be pushing as hard as I usually do.”

– Daniil Kvyat

The news of Toro Rosso’s decision is a knock on Pierre Gasly’s F1 ambitions, which look to be offset for another season unless he can pinch a seat at Manor. The young Frenchman said,

“I didn’t actually understand their decision and I didn’t get any reasons as well. It was kind of looking good for me, talking about it with [Red Bull motorsport advisor] Helmut [Marko] and trying to make it.

Then I don’t know what has happened as in two or three days, everything went so quickly. They signed Kvyat. I didn’t understand it. It looked like I was in the right place but in the wrong moment pretty much from what I understood.”

– Pierre Gasly

Toro Rosso will be in a strong position for 2017 should they retain 7th in the Constructors. It remains to be seen whether Kvyat will be able to up his game to the same level of Carlos Sainz, but assurance from the Red Bull hierarchy will go some way to settling the Russian into better performances.