Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has explained why Daniil Kvyat was the logical choice to be retained alongside Carlos Sainz Jr for the 2017 F1 world championship.
After growing speculation Kvyat may have been on his way out of the Red Bull fold after being rotated back to Toro Rosso to make space for Max Verstappen, the Italian team confirmed the Russian would remain with the squad in F1 next year.
Speaking at the Mexican Grand Prix, Tost says Kvyat's experience and working relationship with the team made the decision to keep the 22-year-old relatively straightforward compared to taking on Red Bull junior and GP2 title contender Pierre Gasly.
“First of all, Danill Kvyat is a very high-skilled driver. As we know from the past, he won the GP3 championship; he was this year in China on the podium,” Tost said. “Therefore, we are convinced of his talent.
“Secondly, his experience because next year will be his [fourth] season in Formula One and especially with the new regulations his experience will help us. And third, each party knows each other now very well. That means the co-operation also regarding next year's new car will help us hopefully to operate quite successfully.”
READ: Who is going where? 2017 F1 driver line-up so far
Assessing Toro Rosso's prospects for 2017 with Sainz and Kvyat plus returning to Renault engines, Tost insists the team must wait to see where its car will settle in the F1 pecking order due to the regulation revamp next year.
“I think we have all the ingredients together to come up with a very competitive package, because the technical staff, under the lead of James Key, have in the last years done a fantastic good job,” he said. “With Renault we have a new engine partner and their power unit is quite strong and I hope this will also be the case next year.
“We have two experienced drivers, which was never the case before at Toro Rosso, and also the team itself is improving. I expect a lot from the team and I hope that everything works into the direction what we think will be the case.”
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