Daniil Kvyat tops Force India wishlist

After a tough 2016, Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat may part ways with the Red Bull programme.

Daniil Kvyat tops Force India wishlist
Daniil Kvyat was demoted back to Toro Rosso earlier this year. | Photo: Getty Images/Peter Fox

After Nico Hulkenberg's impending departure to Renault was announced last week, Force India have named Daniil Kvyat as their main target to replace the German at the Silverstone based team.

Hulkenberg, 29, announced his departure from the team he spent three years at in a stuttering second spell, that has - thus far - failed to see him reach his first elusive podium in the sport.

Kvyat has endured a tough third year in Formula 1, having been demoted back to Red Bull's sister team in Toro Rosso after a clumsy start to the year, culminating in a first lap collision with Sebastian Vettel in Russia.

Having slowly regained his confidence and form as the season has progressed, the Russian looks to be ready to leave the harsh environment of the Red Bull driver programme after six years with the energy drinks giant.

Kvyat paid the price for his mistakes. | Photo: Getty Images/Clive Mason
Kvyat paid the price for his mistakes. | Photo: Getty Images/Clive Mason

If the 22-year-old Russian is to leave the Faenza team at the end of the season, GP2 title contender and fellow Red Bull Junior driver Pierre Gasly is first in line for a seat alongside the discontented Carlos Sainz, who looks to be staying put for another year at least.

Gasly in line to replace Kvyat at Toro Rosso?

Force India have also expressed an interest in Renault's Jolyon Palmer and Manor's Esteban Ocon, who have tested for the team in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Both have impressed in recent outings, beating their team mates in Japan last time out.

Esteban Ocon's Mercedes connection could prove crucial. | Photo: Getty Images/Mark Thompson
Esteban Ocon's Mercedes connection could prove crucial. | Photo: Getty Images/Mark Thompson

Due to Force India's ties with Mercedes, Ocon looks to be the favoured of the two, and may be used to get a discount on Mercedes engines and gearboxes for 2017; however the team are understood to be interested in a more experienced driver to partner Sergio Perez due to the huge revision to the formula's rules.

Meanwhile, runaway 2014 GP2 champion Palmer would bring significant funding to the team, who despite their recent financial troubles, have emphasised that money is not a crucial factor in the decision.

Jolyon Palmer is another candidate after losing his seat to Hulkenberg. | Photo: Getty Images/Mark Thompson
Jolyon Palmer is another candidate after losing his seat to Hulkenberg. | Photo: Getty Images/Mark Thompson

For the deal to go ahead, Kvyat would have to be released from Red Bull officially, but it is understood that the company are yet to make a decision on his future.