Kvyat out, Max Verstappen in and even Jenson Button is skeptical

Max Verstappen Daniil Kyvat

Despite getting on the podium in 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, Red Bull racing have announced today that Daniil ‘The Destroyer’ Kvyat has been relocated back to his old spot at Toro Rosso to be replaced by Belgian-Dutch driver Max Verstappen. Former World Champion Jenson Button accused Red Bull of having ‘short memories’ as he took to Twitter saying: “Really? one bad race and Kyvat’s dropped, what about the podium in the previous race?”

Anyone would think Sebastian Vettel was still pulling the strings behind the scenes at Red Bull, masterminding a punishment for Kyvat’s silly driving in the Russian Grand Prix, which saw Kyvat drive into the rear of Vettel’s Ferrari not once, but twice, within the opening minute of the race.

Of course that’s not true. The decision to dump Kvyat is all about Red Bull retaining Verstappen for 2017 with the fear that Ferrari might try and snatch him with the attraction of a manufacturers seat – and loads of wonger. Oh, and don’t forget that team boss Helmut Marko always gets what he wants – and he’s wanted Verstappen with Red Bull Racing for a while.

It’s fair to say that the Chinese Grand Prix isn’t the first time Kvyat has smashed up his car. It’s also fair to say that Team Max Verstappen have been very aggressive in pushing Verstappen up the F1 ranks as quickly as possible. Perhaps daddy is trying to make up for his mediocre 9 year F1 career, which only saw him on the podium twice and a maximum points tally of 17. Verstappen has already tripled that in less than 2.

Is this the right move for Max?

For now, sure. At least until the end of the season. But if I were Max Verstappen I’d be keeping my options very open. There aren’t many manufacturer seats available, at least not in competitive cars, and a seat at Ferrari could seriously put him in a World Championship winning position in 2017.

What next for Kvyat

Well, the future’s looking a tad bleak for the Russian. First of all he better hope that he consistently out-qualifies his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr, who has been somewhat overshadowed by the hype of Verstappen but is no less talented. Toro Rosso is the lead in to the Red Bull F1 program and there are lots of people queuing up to take that seat. Unless Kvyat can show some real talent for the rest of the season (and keep his nose clean) it’s possible this could be the final year for Daniil Kvyat in Formula One, at least for the foreseeable.