Toro Rosso have made a shock announcement by revealing that Russian teenager Daniil Kvyat will race alongside Jean-Eric Vergne for the 2014 season.
The 19 year old is a relative unknown and will now replace Daniel Ricciardo who in turn is moving to parent team Red Bull.
"This is fantastic news, a dream come true and I want to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this priceless opportunity," Kyvat told Sky Sports.
"Ever since I began karting, I wanted to get to Formula 1 and now that wish will become reality next season. I had a brief taste of working with the Toro Rosso team, when I drove for them at the Silverstone test and I enjoyed the experience very much. The fact I am based in Italy and speak Italian will, I am sure, help me to become part of the team very quickly."
Kvyat is a graduate of the Junior Driver programme run by Red Bull and did test for Toro Rosso at Silverstone back in July, but his appointment is a major surprise as many had predicted that highly-rated Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa would receive the call.
Da Costa had been expected to take the vacant seat and he revealed how disappointed he was on Twitter before wishing his fellow driver, and current flat-mate, well.
"[sic] It hurts but its like this, im happy for Daniil and that it stays in the Red Bull Family, enjoy mate," tweeted Da Costa before showing he hasn't lost his sense of humour by saying: "Looking for a new flat mate. Interests please retweet. #keepsmiling."
Kvyat has driven in the GP3 series this season and currently sits second in the standings, leading Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost to declare that the young Russian was selected on merit.
"Daniil is a very talented driver, which can be seen from his results in all the junior categories," said Tost, as reported on Sky Sports.
"He was a very successful Kart driver and, in 2012 he took the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship title with 7 wins. This year, he competed in six rounds of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, taking one win, five poles and five podiums.
"In addition to this, he is still in a position to win the GP3 Championship, as he is only seven points behind the leader. He impressed our team with a strong performance and very informative technical feedback at the young driver test in Silverstone.
"This suggests that the basic qualities from which he can progress are all in place. Daniil can be sure that we will use all our experience of training youngsters to give him the best possible start to his Formula 1 career.
Kvyat will be 19 years and 320 days by the time of the 2014 Australian GP but he will not be the youngest driver to debut in F1.
Jaime Alguersuari currently hold the record as he was just 19 years and 125 days when he debuted in the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, while the sport's two best current driver Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso both made their debuts at the age of 19.
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