Teenage Russian driver Daniil Kyvat has secured a seat at Toro Rosso for the 2014 season.
Kyvat will join Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso as a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, who is set to partner Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season.
The 19-year-old’s appointment will come as a surprise to many, but Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost believes the GP3 driver was an easy choice.
"We are pleased to continue our policy of bringing on drivers from the Red Bull Junior Programme,” Tost told Planet-F1.com.
“Daniil is a very talented driver, which can be seen from his results in all the junior categories.
"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 One career."
The Rome-based youngster was naturally delighted at the opportunity, and is looking forward to repaying Toro Rosso’s faith next year.
"This is fantastic news, a dream come true and I want to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this priceless opportunity," he said.
"Ever since I began karting, I wanted to get to Formula One 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."
Kyvat’s appointment will ensure a Russian driver is back on the grid following Caterham’s decision not to renew Vitaly Petrov’s drive in 2013.
The teenager will follow in his countryman’s footsteps to become only the second Russian ever to drive in Formula One.