Is Daniil Kvyat the luckiest man in F1?

Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat

After Sebastian Vettel's surprise departure from Red Bull, his replacement, Daniil Kvyat, could have become the luckiest man in F1.

It's fair to say that Toro Rosso drivers don't have a great shelf life once they leave – or, more often than not, are kicked out of – the nest. Only Tonio Liuzzi has had anything close to an F1 career from outside of the Red Bull stable, following up his tenure with the team with two seasons at Force India and one with lowly HRT before he went on to race tin-tops.

For the success stories of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, there are the tales of drivers such as Scott Speed and Jamie Alguesuari, who've been unceremoniously dumped back to where they came from, never to be seen in F1 again.

That is why Daniil Kvyat may well be the luckiest driver in F1; thanks to Vettel's bombshell announcement that he was leaving Red Bull, he doesn't have to worry about his career prospects. He is heading straight to a drive at the business end of the grid and into a long F1 career.

His first stroke of luck was literally being the only person who could take the job. With Red Bull having already announced Jean Eric Vergne's dismissal in order to make room for the prodigious Max Verstappen, there is no way that they could backtrack and then offer him a promotion. At the same time, there was no chance of them bringing in an outside driver as that would completely undermine the brutal, cut-throat nature of their junior programme. Daniil was the only man eligible to drive for a team which has won at least one race a season for the last six years and has four of the last five constructors and drivers championships.

And that is the most important thing.

If there is one thing which will guarantee you a continued top drive in F1 it is proving that you've historically been able to win races and compete for championships – see the careers of Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, and Mark Webber, for instance. That is a chance Toro Rosso drivers don't get anymore, as ever since regulation changes stipulated they could no longer build a car from RBR hand-me-downs they've been artificially anchored to the lower-midfield.

But driving for Red Bull, Kvyat will get his chance at the business end of the grid. While there may be a few teething problems as Adrian Newey scales back his involvement, with their resources and budget there is no doubting that RBR will remain front-runners. If Kvyat can have a few good years at the sharp end, then the 20-year old should cement himself a long, successful career.