Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko (LEFT) has denied the inclusion of the Russian Grand Prix on next year's Formula 1 calendar was a factor in picking Daniil Kvyat for a Toro Rosso seat.
The energy drinks company announced on Monday evening that 19-year-old Kvyat will partner Jean-Eric Vergne next year, beating Antonio Felix da Costa to the seat. Kvyat has completed just over 20 laps in an F1 car and is currently competing in both the Formula 3 European Championship and GP3 Series.
Although there have been suggestions that the Russian GP, which will join the calendar next year, was an important consideration when choosing Kvyat, Marko says he was picked purely based on skill.
"We were looking at what's best for Red Bull and what's best for Toro Rosso in the medium term," Marko said. "All the people who have been involved in this decision said Daniil was the right candidate.
"Through his performances, he was a natural candidate, being fast, being mature. So in the medium term he offers the best perspectives."
Although Marko admits Kvyat will have a lot to learn given his lack of experience, he believes the Russian will be able to match Vergne before the 2014 season reaches if halfway point.
"Of course, he has to learn how Formula 1 is operating. He has to learn the circuits, but I would say after six to eight races he should be in a position to challenge Vergne," he added.