Formula 1

Kvyat last raced for Toro Rosso at last year's United States GP.

Daniil Kvyat set to confirm unlikeliest of Formula 1 comebacks at the Russian GP

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Former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos has claimed that Daniil Kvyat is the driver to be confirmed as a Toro Rosso driver for 2019 at the Russian Grand Prix in two weeks time.

If true, it marks a remarkable change of heart by Red Bull and their motorsport advisor Helmut Marko who dropped the 23-year-old from their young driver program almost exactly a year ago after he crashed out of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Kvyat would be replaced by Pierre Gasly, though did one make a final appearance at the United States GP later in the year, but with the Frenchman set to move up to the main Red Bull team for next season, it appears the Russian is to be given another opportunity.

For many, his decision to return to Toro Rosso will be surprising given the way he was treated by the Austrian energy drinks company in the final 18 months of his first stint.

Kicked out of Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix in favour of Max Verstappen, Kvyat struggled to ever regain the performance he had previously shown back at the junior team alongside Carlos Sainz.

He would become known as the 'Torpedo' for causing a number of crashes by simply running into the back of the car in front and it was those mistakes that eventually led to him receiving his marching orders.

Kvyat 'torpedoes' into Fernando Alonso in Austria last year

But with Red Bull lacking other young drivers coming through the junior series, it has forced Red Bull to consider other choices, with Kvyat spending this year with the Ferrari development program.

“He will drive for Toro Rosso next year. Contract signed,” Doornbos told Holland's Ziggo Sport.

The reason why an announce date of the Russian GP is expected is because of comments made by Marko, who previously hinted at increased maturity as a reason for renewing interest in Kvyat.

“One of them. I’ll tell you at Sochi," he told Sky Italia when asked if either Daniil, Robert Kubica or Antonio Giovinazzi were possible options.

Kvyat was once seen as Red Bull's 'next Sebastian Vettel'

The main question going forward is who will join him at the junior team next season.

Current driver Brendon Hartley is expected to be dropped, while Esteban Ocon has been ruled out due to his links at Mercedes.

Another former Toro Rosso driver in Sebastien Buemi was previously suggested, but he looks set to remain a reserve driver.

Wehrlein has been racing in DTM after leaving Sauber

Instead, it is Pascal Wehrlein that some believe could be in the running after the German announced this week he would be splitting with the Mercedes program at the end of this year, making him a free agent and a very attractive option for Red Bull should they want him.

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Topics:
Daniil Kvyat
Pierre Gasly
Brendon Hartley
Esteban Ocon
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Toro Rosso
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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