Daniil Kvyat has been handed a surprise Formula 1 lifeline by Ferrari after being confirmed as the team's new development driver.
The announcement comes just three months after the Russian was axed by Toro Rosso and rules out the prospect of Kvyat, who has two podiums and 133 points in his 72 career starts, taking the 2018 Williams seat.
Ferrari have not yet specified what they expect of Kvyat this season, but he joins Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi in the Scuderia's reserve ranks.
Leclerc, however, now has a full-time seat with Sauber, while Giovinazzi is the Swiss team's third driver. Kvyat's fellow Toro Rosso exile, Jean Eric Vergne, was previously a development driver at Ferrari.
Kvyat's new role comes after a rollercoaster season with Toro Rosso.
First, Kvyat was benched for Pierre Gasly in Malaysia, before making a one-off return at the United States GP. After that race, he lost his seat and was dropped from the Red Bull stable entirely.
Kvyat had been looking at other options - testing at Euro NASCAR in December - and told Sky F1's Rachel Brookes in October: "Formula 1 is not everything. There are other good opportunities in this life."
But he was still one of the frontrunners for the Williams drive, which is now set to be taken by countryman Sergey Sirotkin. The 22-year-old appears to have beaten off competition from Robert Kubica to replace Felipe Massa.
Kvyat's F1 journey so far
Kvyat joined the Red Bull junior programme in 2010 and made his Formula 1 debut in 2014 with Toro Rosso.
At the end of his debut season he was promoted to the senior Red Bull team to replace the Ferrari-bound Sebastian Vettel as Daniel Ricciardo's team-mate.
He finished second at the 2015 Hungarian GP, his best result in F1, before claiming another podium with third at the 2016 Chinese GP.
Daniil Kvyat's roller-coaster two years
|2016 Chinese GP||Kvyat finishes third but angers Vettel with start, earning him nickname 'Torpedo'.|
|2016 Russian GP||At the next race, Kvyat twice runs into the back of Vettel on the opening lap in Sochi|
|May 2016||Kvyat loses Red Bull seat to Max Verstappen, who goes on to win Spanish GP on debut|
|Pre-2016 summer break||On return to Toro Rosso, Kvyat manages just two-points finishes and has three retirements in four races before summer break|
|October 2016||Toro Rosso announce Kvyat will be retained for 2017 season|
|July 2017||Kvyat moves to within two penalty points of race ban after picking up penalties for collisions with Alonso and Sainz and for impeding Stroll in Qualifying in consecutive GPs|
|September 2017||Kvyat crashes out of Singapore GP before Toro Rosso announce Gasly will replace him for Malaysia and Japanese GPs|
|2017 US GP||Kvyat returns to replace Renault-bound Sainz and finishes 10th in Austin|
|Post-US GP||Despite that points finish, Kvyat is dropped again and told he's free to find a new team|
|January 2018||Confirmed as Ferrari's new development driver|
But at the next race in Russia, Kvyat twice collided with Vettel on the opening lap and he subsequently lost his seat at Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish GP with Max Verstappen taking his place.
Upon his demotion back to Toro Rosso, Kvyat was heavily out-scored by Carlos Sainz and he was 'rested' for the Malaysia and Japanese GPs after crashing in September's Singapore GP.
Kvyat took a point upon returning at the US GP in place of Gasly, on Super Formula duty, and described it as his "best race of the season". But he was still dropped by Red Bull and Toro Rosso immediately afterwards.
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every Formula 1 Grand Prix, qualifying and practice session live in 2018. Get Sky Sports F1.