Daniil Kvyat will become only the second Russian to race in the FIA F1 World Championship when the Australian Grand Prix, round one of the 2014 season, blasts off on Sunday.
Following in the wheel tracks of fellow countryman, Vitaly Petrov, young Kvyat will have the expectations of every Russian sitting firmly on his shoulders when he takes to the Australian circuit this weekend for part Bicester-based Toro Rosso.
Fast tracked to F1 by the Red Bull company, Kvyat won the Grand Prix-supported GP3 Series last year, beating Facu Regalia, now driving for the Force India-Hilmer GP2 team, in the final round.
But, despite his obvious talent, the news of Kvyat’s F1 place still came as a shock to the 19-year-old.
He said: “It was a big surprise to be named as a F1 driver for the 2014 season.
“My aim was to reach F1 but I have been handed a great chance to race this year and I’m looking forward to my season with the Toro Rosso team.”
The part Bicester-based team are funded by Red Bull, and with some of the team’s operations located in Italy, the team adopts the Toro Rosso branding. For the new season the team will use Renault V6 engines with Frenchman, Jean-Eric Vergne, will driving the second Toro Rosso car.
Kvyat added: “It’s a big year for Russia in F1. The first Russian Grand Prix will take place in October in Sochi and will be a big event.”
The Russian Grand Prix will take place on a brand new circuit, designed by the German Tilke company, on roads around the Olympic Park. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, met with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone last weekend to further plans for the event in the Back Sea holiday resort.
The 2014 F1 season starts this weekend in Australia.