Red Bull Racing will replace Daniil Kvyat with Plucky Teen Max Verstappen for the Spanish Grand Prix. The young Russian made a mistake at his home race hitting Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel twice and ending his race early as well as ruining the race for both Red Bull’s. Team boss Christian Horner said:
“Max has proven to be an outstanding young talent,” said Horner.
“His performance at Toro Rosso has been impressive so far and we are pleased to give him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing.
“We are in the unique position to have all four drivers across Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso under long term contracts with Red Bull, so we have the flexibility to move them between the two teams.
“Dany will be able to continue his development at Toro Rosso, in a team that he is familiar with, giving him the chance to regain his form and show his potential.”
In my humble opinion, I think the Russian GP incident was exactly the excuse they wanted in order to move the Plucky Teen up to the big team. If you consider that Kvyat is holding his own against his teammate and others, had a podium finish just two weeks ago and one incident where he made a bad judgment and mistake, demoting him seems pretty darned harsh.
The fact is, Max is a special talent and many believe hi to have the skills that could be a real revelation in F1. Ferrari and Mercedes are said to be very keen in luring him away from Red Bull and the pressure from the Verstappen camp is most likely very real prompting Red Bull mastermind Helmut Marko to make the switch in order to give the Plucky Teen a reason to stay. Max said:
“The next step in my relatively short career so far, is an amazing opportunity.
“I really want to thank Red Bull and Dr. Helmut Marko for the confidence they have in me.
“I’ll have the chance to learn a lot from the top team that is Red Bull Racing.
“I’m also looking forward to work with an experienced and proven team mate like Daniel Ricciardo.
“I can’t thank all the people at Scuderia Toro Rosso enough for all their hard work.
“Everyone back at the factory in Faenza, and [team principal] Franz Tost in particular, have made an amazing contribution to get me this far in my career.
“We’ve had an amazing time together.”
Kvyat’s mistake was the perfect reason to make the move. On merit, I think Kvyat has been doing a marvelous job of it. In the end, Kvyat may not be as fast at Daniel Ricciardo and perhaps being entrenched in the team, Helmut Marko sees this better than most. Therefore, a change to keep the Verstappen camp happy is the right move but I’d be surprised if this move will keep Max there should Mercedes or Ferrari come calling.
As for Kvyat? I’m a fan. I think the young man has a right to be in Formula 1 on merit and maybe Red Bull are off the boil with him but should rumors of a Russian team be true or another team in F1 be in the market, I think Daniil has a lot to offer. I don’t think we’ve seen the best this young man has to give as he’s only 22-years-old and he has room to grow. His move in China was spot on and he nearly had Russia’s turn 2 move perfectly timed just missing it by foot or two. In F1, sometimes that’s ll it takes to lose a ride.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT