The partnership of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz is continuing for another year at Toro Rosso in 2017.
Sainz had already been secured by the team to carry on, but Kvyat’s position has been under question after stepping down from Red Bull to Toro Rosso in a swap with Max Verstappen before the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
Next season is due to be the third season for the drivers at the team, and their first full season of being teammates.
It means Kvyat is set to be the most experienced Russian driver in Formula One history at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, overtaking former Lotus and Caterham driver Vitaly Petrov. Kvyat currently has 53 race starts, four behind Petrov with four races left in the 2016 season.
Sainz is expected to be the 134th F1 driver (out of an all-time total of 836) to reach 50 race starts at the 10th round of the 2017 season, provisionally confirmed as being the British Grand Prix.
Kvyat is ecstatic to finally put speculation behind him and confirm his seat at the team.
“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,” Kvyat said.
“I will always be fully dedicated, giving my 200%, and I will be pushing as hard as I usually do, that’s for sure, I’m delighted!”
Team Principal Franz Tost is also pleased to have the same two drivers because it allows the team to focus on changes to their car for the new season.
Aerodynamic regulation changes come in at the start of 2017 alongside new wider Pirelli tires, and the team is also changing power unit supplier, moving back to Renault from Ferrari.
“It makes a change to announce our driver line-up relatively early,” Tost said.
“There are so many new elements coming to Formula One in general and to our team specially, in terms of the change of power unit supplier, that having the same two drivers gives us stability and a benchmark to worth from.”
The move will now put question marks on Pierre Gasly’s future with the Red Bull family. He sits in second place in the GP2 Championship with one round remaining, seven points behind Prema Racing teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, with the possibility to become a champion.
Champions cannot return to the series for the following season, which would force him to have a year out of European open-wheel racing, unless Red Bull arrange a deal with another team to put him in Formula One.
Gasly may have to spend a year as their or Red Bull’s reserve driver or look for a possible seat in another series such as sportscar racing to keep himself fresh.
Current expected 2017 Formula One grid:
Teams and drivers listed in current championship order. TBA = to be announced.
Mercedes – Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton
Red Bull – Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen
Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel
Force India – Sergio Perez, TBA
Williams – TBA, TBA
McLaren – Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne
Toro Rosso – Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat
Haas – Romain Grosjean, TBA
Renault – Nico Hulkenberg, TBA
Manor – TBA, TBA
Sauber – TBA, TBA
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.