Scuderia Toro Rosso’s 2014 signing, Daniil Kvyat, will head into his maiden Formula 1 track outings full of confidence after winning the GP3 Series championship title yesterday at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Following the announcement of his surprise promotion into Toro Rosso’s Grand Prix line-up next year, the Russian teenager headed into the GP3 Series finale at Abu Dhabi with a mathematical chance of claiming the title.
Kvyat utterly dominated the event, going quickest in each practice session and qualifying en route to taking out Saturday’s race with a lights-to-flag victory. His main championship challenger, Facu Regalia, finished outside the points after copping a 20-second time penalty for exceeding the track limits.
It was enough to ensure an elated Kvyat claimed the championship crown with one race to go – Sunday’s finale was won by Marussia protégé, Tio Ellinas.
“I’m really, really happy and I’m proud of myself, the team and everyone involved this year. It’s a strong result and to be going to Formula One like this, it could not be better than that!” he exclaimed.
“I’m really looking forward to the next step [Formula 1], but right now, I also want to enjoy this and celebrate. We worked hard for it. We deserve to enjoy it!”
Subject to him being able to secure his FIA Superlicense in time, Kvyat will have Friday practice outings for Toro Rosso at the upcoming United States and Brazilian Grands Prix.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix also served as the curtain closer for the GP2 Series championship, with Racing Engineering driver Fabio Leimer claiming the championship spoils after his main title rival, Mercedes’ F1 reserve driver Sam Bird, stalled on the grid as the race got underway.
Race 1 saw pole-winner and Caterham F1 test driver Alexander Rossi beat Jolyon Palmer in a tactical Feature Race, while Sunday’s sprint race was taken out by Force India reserve driver James Calado.