Sao Paulo: Russian teenager Daniil Kvyat made waves in the wet at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday with an impressive showing for the Toro Rosso team in first practice at Interlagos.
The 19-year-old is replacing Australian Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull`s Italy-based sister team next season and was given track time as part of preparations for the challenge ahead.
Kvyat ended up eighth on the timesheets in the tricky opening session before Ricciardo, who is moving up to join quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull for 2014, returned to the car for the afternoon.
"It was very nice, very useful running for me, first time in the wet conditions with a Formula One car," said the Russian, who also drove in Friday practice at last week`s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.
"I think I got on quite well, I got quite confident with the car from lap two or three."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, keeping a close eye on both Red Bull proteges, was impressed with what he witnessed.
"Considering his age and experience, to get in a grand prix car in the wet round here, on a track he`s never seen before, and do what he did was very impressive," the Briton told BBC television.
"You could see he`s not afraid of the car in any way. He`s throwing it around and has got plenty of car control. It was certainly an impressive performance by him this morning."
Kvyat drove for Horner`s GP3 team this year, winning the championship, and the Red Bull boss had no doubt that Toro Rosso had made the right decision in taking him for 2014.
"He`s a very talented young man. He`s got great car control, he`s certainly massively brave and I think he`s got a bright future ahead of him," he said.
Ricciardo, 24, replaces departing fellow Australian Mark Webber at Red Bull and will start his preparations as soon as he gets back to Europe.
Horner said the Perth-born driver would be in Milton Keynes next week to meet staff at the factory and spend time in the simulator.
He had no doubt his team had also chosen the right man as team mate for champion Vettel, who could chalk up a record ninth straight win of the season, and 13th of the campaign, on Sunday.
"You`re always looking for the reassurance you`ve made the right decision and we absolutely have had that confirmed by the way he`s driven since we announced his signing," said Horner.
"The Toro Rosso is a tricky car and he`s managed to get it into the top 10 on so many occasions now and pull it out of the bag, particularly in qualifying."