Red Bull replace Kvyat with Verstappen

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.


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Paul KieferJr

Given all the information I’ve read, I suspect that this is something more along the lines of “Kvyat vs. Verstappen”, and the Russian just happened to open the defenses a little…just enough for the Plucky Teen to get through.


What will they do if Max runs into Vettel in Spain?


Promote Sainz to RBR.


Re-hire Webber.

I wish.


Fire Horner for letting Vettel go to Ferrari.


I like the way you think.


I think most would agree that Max has a higher potential ceiling than Daniel but Daniel has definitely proven that he belongs on the grid and not in a back marker. This move leaves an opportunistic bad taste in my mouth on the back of the Russian GP but in the big picture it is better to see what he can do and lock him down if he produces rather than losing him to a competitor.


I think you mean Daniil ;)


Of course you are right, rookie mistake ;)

Negative Camber

I’ve made that mistake a thousand times. :)


You should make things _really_ interesting & start referring to Daniil as the Plucky Tween :)


I’d be very surprised if Ferrari or Mercedes could pry Mad Max away from RBR now – Marko’s likely to have signed him up for many years under an airtight contract, and would ask for ridiculous amounts of money if another team wanted to buy him out. Kvyat has been feeling the pressure for a while, as can be seen by his crashing out at COTA last year and possibly the rolling of his car at Suzuka, and doubtless that pressure led to his aggressive driving at Bahrain and Shanghai followed by the disaster at Sochi. Its hard to perform… Read more »

Gary Penney

Your funny.. Airtight contract in F1… Good one


F1’s no different to any other sport in this regard. Contracts are legally binding until one or the other party really wants out, upon which there’s a penalty to pay – in this case if Ferrari wants Max, they’d need to buy out the contract & Mateschitz will get the money to renovate a couple more Austrian race tracks. These contracts are not the joke that so many people make them out to be though. If, for example, Ricciardo had an offer from Ferrari & decided he wanted to join them next year, he couldn’t just turn up at Maranello… Read more »

Christian Collis

I am surprised. Kvyat wasn’t near Ricc in races but, let this year progress he would be another Roman G next year was my thinking.
But is this how Redbull will handle their 2 teams now? Do well you get the good car next week, do bad…
They need a bumper sticker saying ‘my other car depends on my driving’!


That would make a popular Toro Rosso fan t-shirt.


Looking at the performance of RBR, Kvyat might find himself in a faster car now…


The RBR has been substantially quicker than the STR this year.


I agree, You know Red Bull wants to keep the Plucky Teen. Show this is a way to do this. Screw Kvyat and use the Russian GP as a excuse.


Putin will not be happy about this!


who gives a crap about what Putin thinks, but at the same time, this swap reminds me of coaches getting sacked after merely 2 games.

Paul KieferJr

Suddenly, I’m reminded of George Steinbrenner. :P


Good insights – who am I to understand Dr Helmut Marko but this makes as much sense as anything.

The real winner in all this though is Sebastian Vettel. “Give me the gap. Don’t make me walk over to YOUR pits and whisper the magical words to YOUR boss!”


I think Vetted will have more problem with Max, he doesn’t yield to anything.


Oh my gosh you are so right, I hadn’t thought of that, but Max’s lack of deference to his elders should make for some ruffled feathers in the front of the pack now!

Meine Postma

But Max does not hit into other people when overtaking.


Marko said on that it’s more about giving Kvyat a reset, as he has been “overdriving” the car and trying to hard to keep up with Riccardo. This move will take the pressure off him and help his career. I am not sure I see it has helping his career at all, but now the pressure is all on the Plucky Teen to try to match Riccardo, which will be a vary tall order indeed. Kvyat’s F1 career is over though after this season. There is no more room in Red Bull’s hen house if they truly don’t want… Read more »


I actually doubt there’ll be too much pressure on Max at first, as he’s been dropped into an unfamiliar team & will be driving a car that he’s never tested before. If he does well its a bonus.


I wonder,does Kvyat get Verstappen’s engine allocation?


Yes, as that goes with the car & not the driver. The same is true of tyre choices.

sunny stivala

and also the tyres.

Marcio Ribeiro

Boy, Marko can sure roll out the BS. The move down to Toro Rosso will benefit him? Yeah, right. I agree with you NC, this is all about securing Max at RBR and taking advantage of the negative moment caused by Kyvat’s mistake to have a proper excuse. It’ll all become awkward if (or when) Max starts showing signs of feeling the pressure too. He crashed at Monaco last year in a STR. What mistakes will he make this year in a RBR? Tactically understandable, but morally unfair to the Russian who was having a very good season, Russian GP… Read more »

Negative Camber

If I’m Danii, I’m looking for a new ride because it’s only down from STR. That team is about brining talent up to the big team, not shuffling people back down.

Marcio Ribeiro

No question. Unless Red Bull makes it difficult for him to leave, which would again be unfair. I don’t see him going to Mercedes or Ferrari (nor back to RBR) but Renault maybe a viable option. Palmer is the big let down so far, and unless he turns his career around mighty fast, it’ll be over before 2017. Williams is also a possibility, probably the best for both team and driver. Except for Force India who already have good drivers, and Haas, who also may not be looking to change their current team; all other options would be a backwards… Read more »

Junipero Mariano

Well, Kvyat out scored Ricciardo last year. He didn’t hit Vettel in China and both made it to the podium. Going on Mediums in Russia was Red Bull’s strategy call. Demoting him seems excessive, even if you do want to keep Verstappen in the family. All three drivers are of a high caliber, so how much more is Max going to wring out of the RB12? I guess Max knows more about likely performance increases to justify staying with Red Bull. Maybe Kvyat can make Red Bull eat crow at Mercedes or Ferrari.

Peter Riva

Kvyat forgot that 50% of any professional sport is PR and supporting the brand/sponsors. The smiling assassin made more mistakes but blamed himself and kept the image. Vettel was aggressive but talked well, smiled and took blame when it was due. Kvyat has been arrogant and blaming everyone else, including (Australia, remember and a lot of last year) the car, the team, and – by association – the brand. Also, did anyone notice he was not wearing his Tag? Ricciardi makes sure it is visible.


If one of the top teams really want to destabilize Red Bull, they just need to offer Ricciardo a seat next year, leaving Red Bull with two inexperienced drivers. With Raikkonen’s contract up at the end of this season, Ferrari must be favourite to try this.

sunny stivala

keep dreaming.

jiji the cat

Danil needs a can of RoGro. Yes RoGro.
Your career in a can.

jiji the cat

Bernie says…”I did this!”


It’s Dr. Helmut Marko, you know, The “Dr.” makes him sound more evil…


Its pronounced ‘Dr Helmut Marko Mwahahaha! ‘