Kvyat may lose seat to Verstappen over Sochi gaffe

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In the round-up: Daniil Kvyat could be dropped for the next round of the championship following his Russian Grand Prix blunder.

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It seems increasingly the case that the reduction in the number of team radio messages being heard on the television broadcasts isn’t just because of the tighter rules introduced this year:

FOM were missing a lot.

We can see this from Mercedes’ open letter: “We spent a number of laps reassuring him that he had a good gap over Lewis and could ease off before the FIA gave us the all-clear to tell him to switch to a setting that would control the issue.”

I think that Ecclestone asked FOM to broadcast much less. He thinks that less radio makes drivers look more independent, I guess.

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82 comments on “Kvyat may lose seat to Verstappen over Sochi gaffe”

  1. They probably just don’t like how he laughs, or he eats too many cookies from the team’s catering. Surely that gaffe is not worth firing the guy, what the heck? Vettel did worse and go promoted (rightly so).

    I’m sure there’s something else going on in the backroom.

    1. Luis De la Garza
      5th May 2016, 3:12

      They just found their excuse to move MadMax to Red Bull. I think it will be veeery interesting to watch competing with Ricciardo

      1. Exactly. It was obvious that they wanted Max in that Red Bull seat really soon, and now they have a lame excuse to do it sooner rather than later. I don’t remember Vettel getting a lot of flak for crashing like an amateur in to the back of Webber in 2008. At no point of time did that affect their decision to have Seb in Red Bull for 2009.

        It’s shocking to think that a driver who outscored their star driver last year, and picked up their maiden podium this year with a stellar overtake and drive during the previous race weekend is being sacked for one lapse of judgement during the Russian GP. Sure, Kvyat hasn’t been at his best this season, but it’s no excuse to replace him as soon as the next race begins.

        Red Bull management need to at least man up and admit that they want Max in that seat asap, and that is why they are replacing Kvyat as soon as Barcelona. It’s just really cowardly to blame Kvyat for his performance in Sochi. Shameful behaviour if you ask me.

        I’m gutted for Kvyat, and for Sainz, who has already been decided as the lesser impressive of the two drivers. Today just reminded me of why I dislike Marko, Horner and the entire red Bull squad.

        1. Yup, it was a forgone deal. First place loads of pressure, he goes out and overdrives, netting him a podium and a crash in two races.

          Real problem is, he is a reflexy driver, just like Seinz. Apparently they want a manipulative driver like Max or Daniel.

          But it is strange how they run their program… Lots of casulties everywhere.

          They should have just swapped them and asked them to show what he can do with Ferrari power, and to better judge Max and Seinz.

          But no, they go their brutal way about it. For sure this year he is racing only because he outscored Riciardo.

        2. @todfod
          “I don’t remember Vettel getting a lot of flak for crashing like an amateur in to the back of Webber in 2008. At no point of time did that affect their decision to have Seb in Red Bull for 2009.”

          That’s because Hamilton was the instigator of that incident. Not Vettel. Hence the changed driving regulations under Safety Car conditions. Webber was later asked if he blamed Vettel for that. He said he did not.

          1. He called him a kid who doesn’t know how to drive if I remember correctly

      2. Max has been very lucky with his aggression so far in F1, and got away with some clumsy moves…maybe a swap might mature him, he is fast and a future champ in the making once he matures..Kvyat hero to zero in 2 races, now fighting for his f1 future, who would of thought!!

    2. It seems that the decision to promote Verstappen in 2017 was taken already before the Russian GP. It is also clear that Kvyat (not Ricciardo) is the one, who is going to be dropped. So it is a question of when, not if.

      Now Red Bull simply need to decide, which driver could score more points for the team over the rest of the 2016 season. Is it better to promote the next superstar early or hope that a driver, who is striving to stay in F1, will deliver better results? The words ‘too soon’ are not in Red Bull’s vocabulary so a decision to replace Kvyat with Verstappen immediately would not be surprising.

      It is sad to see this happening to Kvyat because he is still very young and I do not think he has less potential than, let us say, Webber, Perez or Massa. I hope he can still get a race seat at Renault or another midfield team for 2017. That said, only one driver (Vitantonio Liuzzi) has ever managed to return to F1 as a race driver after being kicked out of the Red Bull empire.

      1. Lets not forget Christian Klien @girts…though it is easy to do. And Vergne to an extent.

        1. @geemac Good points but Vergne has not been *racing* in F1 since he left STR. As a racing driver, Klien also participated in only three Grands Prix with HRT in 2010.

  2. I seriously doubt Red Bull would oust Kvyat and dump an unprepared Verstappen in. Especially over one mistake. Yes it was a really bad one but it would be crazy to suggest that should end his season. The reality is, red bull seem incredibly likely to make the change for 2017, as I understand has been the plan all along. Kvyat still has 17 races to prove himself for other teams. And let us not forget how young Kvyat is himself. He’s driving for a top team but he has still only just started his third season.

    1. Dang.

  3. Beside Sebastian Bourdais, ScottSpeed that literally got the kid by RB I don´t see Kvyat getting the kicks. Maybe he should start putting his act together but I don´t think they will out him.

  4. Re CotD: is it not pretty silly that the teams have to request permission to tell their driver to reconfigure a setting to manage a problem? Aside from the obvious implications in that the car may fail before the transmission is approved, it demonstrates that the rules are unclear and subject to discretion of whoever happens to be stewarding at the time.

    In a sport of virtual absolutes, the radio restrictions are murky waters indeed. Personally I think they need to either ban then or leave them unrestricted.

  5. Seriously what has Kvyat done to be so hated in the F1 world? He is only 22 years old, in his 3rd season and he outscored Ricciardo last year. Heck, he was in the podium at the 3rd race!

    He made a mistake at the last grand prix, but hey who hasn’t? Even world champions have made worst mistakes than that!

    I really start to think that there is something else, maybe he isn’t a hard worker or doesn’t give useful feedback or something like that, but then again I doubt that you can be at a top team and not excel in those areas. Maybe he slept with someone’s wife? :p

    1. “Maybe he slept with someone’s wife? :p”

      hahaha @afonic. But maybe thats the problem? Not literally, of course. The point I’m making is that perhaps there were some undertones of dissatisfaction between the Kyvat Camp and the Marko Camp even before this incident? Is it possible they are using this incident to move Danni out of the way for their prodigal son? Is Marko faced with the threat of Max Verstappen potentially moving to Ferrari for next year? Joos could be playing games.

      I think the question really is, will Helmut Marko sack a driver over two crashes in as many corners? Perhaps not, but if he’s under pressure to do, maybe?

    2. RP (@slotopen)
      5th May 2016, 4:18

      I think it’s cause he’s Russian. I saw lots of socialist digs at Maldonado. Kinda the same thing here. The Crashador is gone, but we have a new heel who tickles our moral indignation.

    3. Are people just stuck in their ways?
      There seems not to be a general enthusiasm for things Russian especially in the West. And one may argue depending on one’s political affiliation, that Russia has not in recent times necessarily endeared herself to so many outside the country. Interestingly, the same argument could be applied to some countries in the West:)
      So in my opinion, the harsh realities of the dichotomy in the political landscape between East and West, rightly or wrongly has perhaps slowly seeped into the psyche of so many in the West (and also in the East) and that is why, in my opinion, someone as harmless as Kvyat perhaps gets far more flak for someone who isn’t even in the spot light and possibly viewed without as much endearment as many from different places on the F1 grid.
      His, for want of words, unexciting character might also be a reason why he hasn’t really caught on with fans.
      I guess I am one of the few who actually think he is a decent guy/driver who does not deserve the flak he has been getting.

      1. Tata, personally, I think that it is more likely to come down to the fact that he was chosen over several other drivers whom the fans liked more and believed they deserved a seat much more than Kvyat.

        I recall that a lot of people thought that the more experienced da Costa, who’d just finished 4th in the Formula Renault 3.5 series despite entering midway through the season, was the driver who deserved to be given a place at Toro Rosso. Equally, there was also Frijns, the man who had won the FR 3.5 series that year and was also being talked up as another very promising driver, leading to him getting a test session with Red Bull.

        Despite the fact that da Costa had been the driver who set the headline times when testing, we were given the surprise news that it was Kvyat, a relatively unknown driver at the time, who was going to be given a seat ahead of those more popular and more experience drivers – a decision that a lot of fans at the time could not make sense of.

        To compound that, when it came to the decision to replace Vettel, instead of opting for Vergne – again, a more experienced driver who had outscored Kvyat (22 points to 8 for Kvyat) and thought to have put in a very solid performance in 2014 – it was Kvyat who was promoted to the parent team.

        Whether or not he deserved the chances he has been given, I think that perhaps there is a perception that Kvyat has been unjustly promoted over drivers who were considered to have outperformed him, creating a sense of resentment against him.

        1. I don’t think it is that complex really. Kvyat has never struck me as a specially good driver. Ricciardo has been the more impressive one. Even this season when kvyat scored his podium it was ricciardo who was leading the race before his tire went down.

        2. The 22 to 8 point deficit doesn’t paint an accurate picture.

          Kvyat outqualified Vergne over the season, and was narrowly outraced (6 to 5) in the races that they both finished. Considering that Ricciardo did not beat Vergne convincingly in either of their years together, I thought Kvyat did a very impressive job for his rookie year. Honestly, a lot of F1 pundits were impressed with him in 2014, and there was no way he didn’t get that Red Bull drive in 2015 on merit.

          Sure, he might not be the most media friendly guy or come from a country that would win popularity votes, but let’s not underrate his achievements of 2014 and 2015 because of one really rubbish race weekend

          1. I think the last race really made him look worse than he is. And made the accident look more amateurish than it really was. First kvyat braked too late into t1. The kind of mistake even the best ones in f1 have done many times. A mistake but nothing really bad. Then in the next corner vettel had a sudden rear tire failure (so it looked) and had to lift in a place where no one is expected to lift. And then kvyar hit him again.

            T1 in russia is tricky corner. It is much faster if you go through it alone than it is when driving side by side with someone else. That means as a first turn the braking pointes are earlier. Also on the first lap the braking points are earlier because there are more cars trying to fit through there. Kvyat was not the only one to fail to brake early enough into the corner.

            I don’t really see kvyat as being dangerous driver. His pass in the previous race on the ferraris was just amazing move. A clean swift move. But I don’t really see him a really fast driver either.

          2. Vergne was 1-1 across 2 seasons with Ricciardo, used to qualify behind him but outraced Ricciardo many times and was far better in the wet. With all the data they have though it is maybe more the potential they see from this data than the headline results?

      2. Red Bull’s decision has nothing to do with Kvyat’s nationality. The team has proved many times that talent and performance are all it cares about. Besides, Russia is still a very attractive market for companies like Red Bull so if it really paid attention to such things, then ties to Russia would only help the driver’s chances to get / retain the seat. In case of Kvyat, ‘sleeping with someone’s wife’ should have strengthened his position, too :D

        I agree with you – “he is a decent guy/driver who does not deserve the flak he has been getting.”

    4. Did you watch the races one by one last year ?and not just the results..dan/ric flogged the Russian last year.. the results do not tell the story of who was the better driver….your analogy is no different than looking at the results and points of this year’s Chinese gp.

  6. That’s so unfair ! Two weeks ago Horner praised Dany. Now he’s done? After one mistake? Imagine if Lotus did the same with Grosjean in 2012…

    I feel like they just have the perfect excuse to promote verstappen which was always going to be the case. Now they can do it under the pretext of Dany”s mistake.

    1. I don’t think they’ll replace Daniil in season and do not compare Lotus and Grosjean with RB and their drivers, Grosjean was a pay driver in 2012.

    2. Don’t worry. Kvyat will cause even more chaos at TR being a mid-pack torpedo.

      Never thought I’d say it, but welcome Max

  7. While it is most likely possible that Kvyat may not be racing with the senior team next year, dropping Kvyat less than halfway into a championship for whatever reason let alone over a racing incident will be a massive PR disaster for Redbull.
    Who decides some of these actions for Redbull? Redbull’s actions including but not limited to their indifference to fans’ reaction to their constant slaying of Renault in the past, makes me wonder if the team indeed get a kick from being the dark lord.
    They surely must get a kick from people not liking them.
    While I am indifferent to the team, a lot of fans will slay them for dropping Kvyat mid-season. And majority of them may not even be Kvyat’s fans.
    On the Verstappen issue, I honestly don’t understand the rush to move MV to a senior team. Front row seats in F1 are brutal. There is a lot at stake for those teams. Either you perform or you are out. So, either Max throws caution to the wind (by choosing not to spend 1 or two more years in the mid-field to hone his craft) choosing to rush toward a front seat at an age less than 20 or he prepares himself for a brief F1 career if things don’t go as planned, and that happens quite a lot in F1.
    And since I admire his talent, having a short career due to impatience – he has said he wants to move to a senior team – will be quite unfortunate to everyone including those who looked forward to a more mature racer whose talents will bring more excitement to the sport in the near future.

  8. Helmut Marko is an absolute moron….the way Red Bull handled the engine situation and now this Kvyat stuff? They are such a classless whining g organization

  9. I got told late last year that Helmut Marko wanted Max Verstappen in the 2nd Red Bull seat for this season & that ever since he got overruled on it he’s been looking for any & every reason to drop Danii Kvyat to get Verstappen in the car.

    I also heard fairly recently that Helmut Marko is still really close to Vettel & despite Kvyat’s podium in China he still laid into him & sided with Vettel on the turn 1 incident & still talks about Vettel as been part of the family who its just as unacceptable to have contact with as your team mates in the RBR/STR teams.

    Lets also not forget that it was holding up Vettel in a practice session that ended Jaime Algersuari’s time at STR & the story I was told was that it was Jaime having the audacity to argue with Helmut & refuse to accept all blame for that which saw Red Bull drop all backing from him (Something they didn’t do with other drivers they dropped from STR).

    1. This seems like the real scenario to me. It seems to me that Helmut Marko has way too much pull within Red Bull Racing.

    2. lockup (@)
      5th May 2016, 7:38

      Yeah it’s that combination of Sebi love and Max factor.

    3. Frieda (@friedatwo)
      5th May 2016, 7:56

      Now I’m going to join in with a conspiracy theory. What did Vettel go a discuss with Red Bull during the Russian GP? I agree that Vettel is a favourite at Red Bull and maybe he said to them they had better drop him? :)

      1. Vettel: “I’ve seen Verstappen’s contract, it says that if you don’t promote him to Red Bull this year, he’ll join me at Ferrari next year. But I want to be winning races, not being the next Massa/Barrichello, so can please promote him?”

        1. @addvariety hahahaha excellent

    4. @gt-racer As if Verstappen will take full blame in his next crash. What will Marko do then? 😉

  10. If Red Bull wants a faultless driver, they should use autonomous car..

    1. Where’s the “faultless DRIVER” aspect in that?

  11. Maybe they should just get the drivers to make car noises that would be broadcast from speakers on their cars. They limit radio communication anyways so their mouths aren’t as busy. It’s a great way to tell which drivers are in the cars, and people are always asking to make the drivers more important. Actually, after Vettel’s outburst last race maybe it’s best to not give drivers any way to amplify their voices outside of their cars…

    1. Why, because you would have been as quiet as a church mouse – having just got hit TWICE??


    2. OH come on really? Vettel’s outburst was one of the best bits of team radio ever in my opinion and as a Ferrari fan pretty much replicated my own outburst at the time! He expressed my pain and frustration perfectly in the moment. This is exactly the kind of emotion and passion that I want to hear from the drivers.

  12. This can’t have anything to do with Kvyat’s recent mistakes. F1 has had all sorts of drivers making far worse and more frequent errors over the past 3-4 years alone. None of them had to pay with their seat.
    This is all about Red Bull / Marko becoming quite desperate to put Verstappen in one of their flagship cars and probably acting a bit undecided regarding whether they should have promoted him at the beginning of this season rather than 2017.

    I do get where the decision might come from and I can’t appreciate whether it would be a smart move or not as we haven’t really seen what Verstappen might be capable of in a top tier car. However if the seat-swap happens I reckon it will leave them with a VERY content Verstappen and three VERY angry drivers. Taking Red Bull’s habits into account, this could very well mean the end of the F1 road for Kvyat after 2016, one more season in a Torro Rosso at most and then bye-bye for Sainz, and it would pretty much turn Ricciardo into the new Mark Webber of the field.

    And I, for one, am finding it pretty hard to like a team that focuses on paving the way for just one of their prospects while tossing its other three drivers around like they’re consumables, at the expense of both internal stability and natural progression. For what it’s worth, in my opinion Ricciardo deserves more credit for his performances and more support from the team while Kvyat, Verstappen and Sainz all deserve a fair chance and more time to prove themselves.

    1. Ricciardo was already supposed to be ‘webberized’ the year he replaced Webber, and turns out he chewed Vettel completely. Should Verstappen land in RB with him, do not discard surprises, frustration and teenage tantrums.

    2. and it would pretty much turn Ricciardo into the new Mark Webber of the field

      Don’t make me laugh. The ‘New Mark Webber of the field’ destroyed a 4 time WDC in their season together in the same machinery. Max hasn’t proved anything yet. He has had a few strong race weekends coupled with a few amateurish mistakes and a couple of hissy fits… That’s it.

      There’s no way Max is deserving of the excess praise and attention he is getting. If Max was a 21 or 22 year old, he would be still proving his mettle against Sainz for 2016. Just because he’s a teenager, people are making him out to be some sort of racing god in the making. I hope Ricciardo takes him to school in that Red Bull, cause that’s where he still belongs.

      1. @todfod

        Meant no disrespect to Ricciardo, mate. I actually like the guy, same as I liked Webber, but with Red Bull’s history of driver treatment and Marko’s way of doing things, I think it’s clear that the main focus in that team will soon be on Verstappen.
        It’s not the fans in particular who see him as a racing god in the making. It’s Red Bull themselves who thinks of him like that and who are absolutely desperate to find the next/better Vettel.

        This exact kind of approach led to favoritism & team orders before and I find it hard to believe it will be different this time around.

        1. @tony031r

          They have a guy who’s beaten Vettel, and honestly, belongs in the tier of the top 4 drivers on the grid. I would be surprised if Max can match Ricciardo straight away. The difference between Seb and Mark at Red Bull, was that Seb had already won a race for Toro Rosso in his rookie season, something that Mark hadn’t managed in 7 years. Seb was a star in the making, there was no doubt about that, which is why they favoured him already. Regarding Max and Danny, I think Max hasn’t proved anything yet, so I would be shocked if they start throwing their weight behind him.

          I guess that’s another reason why Max got the seat so early. They want to know in 2016 itself the driver they will support for their 2017 campaign

  13. To be honest I’ve been wondering if Red Bull could chop and change drivers like this and if so why they didn’t already have plans to before these incidents.

    I don’t think Kvyat deserves to be dropped for what happened in Sochi, but just as a way of getting a benchmark of their upcoming drivers it makes sense.

    I’m expecting at least one to go at the end of this season. A mid season change lets them see if Verstappen is the real deal against Ricciardo and they can also then compare Kvyat and Sainz as best of the rest.

  14. Ashwin (@redbullf1)
    5th May 2016, 2:50

    Meanwhile Sauber gets latest Ferrari engine, that means they get the 2016 engine?

    1. @redbullf1 Sauber is already on a 2016 engine. Sauber will get the Russia spec which was introduced for above all improved reliability.

  15. Driving for Red Bull might be the biggest career risk among any Motorsports. Also, the main team(RBR) hasn’t had to fire or terminate any contract since Webber & Coulthard days. This presents a better excuse to get Verstappen in than at the end of the year.

    More importantly, Red Bull’s got a history of of changing driver mid-season. I’m just a bit surprised with their generosity that they may give Kvyat a seat at Toro Rosso.

    1. @praxis Perhaps it is not generosity, just pragmatism. I think that Kvyat is still a better reserve driver than Pierre Gasly or even Carlos Sainz Jr so if they need to replace Verstappen or Ricciardo for whatever reason, then the Russian would still be the best option. Also, Toro Rosso are quick this year so Red Bull probably would not mind seeing it score some good points, which would be less likely if a rookie was behind the wheel.

      1. @girts, right. They don’t seem to have any young & talented drivers in reserve, knocking on the door, demanding a debut.
        I feel sad though, he needs to find a seat for next year.

        1. @praxis It is not always their only consideration. They also kept Vergne for 2014 when it was quite clear he would never be promoted to Red Bull. There was no lack of young and talented drivers in their junior program back then either.

    2. Get your facts right, praxis. Red Bull only once swapped a driver in-season during their complete F1 existence. That was in 2006, during which Christian Klien was replaced for the last 3 races by Robert Doornbos.

      Toro Rosso is another story, though.

      1. @addvariety, I do have my facts right :)
        “Red Bull’s got a history of of changing driver mid-season.”
        Red Bull got two F1 teams, RBR & Toro Rosso. Toro Rosso isn’t an independent team & certainly doesn’t have total autonomy regarding driver hiring/termination.

        I didn’t say, “Red Bull Racing(RBR)’s got a history of of changing driver mid-season”.

  16. He’s being booted as we speak.

  17. That Motorsport article re Kvyat, though scandalous, doesn’t seem to have much going for it except conjecture and a decline to comment from Red Bull.

    That said, the rumours mentioned in comments above about Kvyat’s status at Red Bull may have some grounding in fact, and so the article just fuels the swirling of opinion.

    If I were the journalist, I’d be receiving the expected thanks of my editor with supreme graciousness. .

  18. Have to praise RB if this is true. Unlike Ferrari they are not messing around with driver decisions and deciding it quick. Maybe they think Kvyat needs more time in the sister team as he was there for only a season before put into the main team.

    Will also help gauge Sainz’s performance as well.

    If Ferrari can do with no more penalties, they will far off this gang.

  19. At first I thought about how unfair this is for Kvyat. But then I thought: he will get a second chance at Toro Rosso for almost a full season. Plenty of time to prove he is still hot property, rather than being tossed aside at the end of the season at RBR.

    But let’s just wait and see if this is all true. I don’t know if I am looking forward to hearing the inevitable news or fearing it.

  20. Sviatoslav (@)
    5th May 2016, 7:45

    Red Bull can’t make this move. This would be unbelievable and crazy.
    Verstappen crashed into his team-mate in Australia, he was lucky not to destroy completely his front wing and his team-mate’s race (Sainz would drive the entire lap with a punctured tyre). Moreover, this kid destroyed his strategy when he came early to the pit lane.
    Verstappen almost crashed into Hulk at the start of Russian GP (just watch again the footage – he hit Hulk and was again lucky not to finish the race before the second corner).
    Verstappen was lucky again because it was Sainz who made a better start but got problems because other crashed. Max was just lucky. He did nothing, literally nothing to get the top team!

    1. You are right, Verstappen makes mistakes just as Kvyat does. So swapping them will be because of performance and potential, not because of mistakes. I would find it very harsh from Red Bull nonetheless.

    2. He did nothing, literally nothing to get the top team!

      Agree completely. I don’t see what the guy since he’s entered the sport to land a top drive. He’s narrowly outqualified his not so highly regarded teammate last season, and narrowly outraced him in the races where he didn’t have technical problems. Regarding the maturity side, he has made some amateurish mistakes last and this season, and has been shown to be emotionally immature as well. Guess being a kid really pays off in F1

  21. I think it’s just plain bad luck for Kvyat and Sainz that they are living in the Max Verstappen era :P

  22. People still beating Verstappen with the Australia stick, well, fair enough, but he’s been absolutely faultless and brilliant since (starts aside, somehow), and his racecraft is well honed. He looks more mature and to have learned from Australia and the backlash. People learn from mistakes. Let’s not forget just how good and mature he was the second part of last season.
    But that’s just in defence of Verstappen. I think he’s better than Kvyat already and probably already one of the absolute best in the field. But this isn’t a fair move. Kvyat is probably being scapegoated so Marko can put in his next plaything. It actually worries me for Verstappen too because what if Marko loses patience with him if he takes a few races to adapt to the car and team and gets royally beaten by Ricciardo (which I don’t expect but it’s not improbable). Should he take that risk? Of course he has many, many records in his sights, but he’s good where he is, usually comfortably best of the rest, easily (despite all the balance saying we must rate both STR drivers) beating his teammate and developing well. Look at what happened to Kvyat as a warning. Because in no way does he deserve to be canned already.

  23. Neil (@neilosjames)
    5th May 2016, 8:14

    Right. Kicking him out because he made one mistake. Arguably two mistakes, but the mid-corner Turn 3 was a bit… vettel DID slow down a lot…

    Don’t buy that as the reason… or at least, not the main reason. I expected he would be deemed surplus to requirements at the end of this year if he couldn’t beat Ricciardo for real (not just in the points), but he hasn’t been bad enough in the three races so far this year to justify kicking him out/demoting him already.

  24. There’s a picture doing the rounds purporting to show Vergne testing wide 2017-style Pirelli rear tyres on Tuesday despite the manufacturer saying he was only running on 2016-shape tyres. The picture is fake. Here’s some video from the test:


  25. My advice to Max in Barcelona: Don’t hit Vettel!

    Wonder what John Booth thinks of it as Toro Rosso’s new Director of Whatever – but I guess he’s used to changing driver line-ups.

  26. I don’t understand why everyone is seeing this as ‘the excuse needed to put Verstappen in a Red Bull’. They were always going to do that at the expense of either driver, yes most likely Kvyat. Red Bull right now has four very talented drivers and it would just be clever to put the strongest two in the strongest car. They don’t need anyones approval for that?

    Last year Kvyat may have beaten Ricciardo but we all know better, he does not have the pace of Ricciardo. Even his podium in China wasn’t really that special as we all know both Ferrari’s and his teammate would’ve finished ahead of him had they not had their troubles.

    Kvyat is one of the better youngsters on the grid but among the four at Red Bull I rate him the lowest. I think Red Bull brought him into the big team too quick as a result of Vettel and Webber leaving over two years. Kvyat needed an extra year at Toro Rosso.

    Nobody will be surprised to see Verstappen at Red Bull next year and we’re all expecting it. I don’t think however they are going to do so in this season. The question remains where will Kvyat go then as surely a step back to STR is no option. I predict he might get Massa his seat.

    1. more like the excuse Marko needed to get Max into RBR RIGHT NOW @xtwl. It seems the sour mood inside STR recently and now Kvyat messing up in Russia are background to “solving everythign” by exchanging the drivers (and getting Booth to smooth out things at STR)

  27. Thanks @keithcollantine for my CotD!
    If I know it would become a CotD, I could have expressed better, as I’m not 100% sure if they were missing A LOT.

  28. If the decision to oust Kvyat is based purely on this, then Red Bull deserve the mess they are landing themselves in. Yes it was a stupid mistake by Kvyat, but blimey, we’ve seen worse! As for Verstappen, over-hyped driver imo, only rated by his dad and chums of old!

  29. I still think the second accident with Vettel was a racing incident. GUT made the same mistake at T1 as KVY, nobody is critizing him, perhaps, some people don’t even know that.
    So fair…

  30. Melvin (@)
    5th May 2016, 8:40

    i am hearing these max to RB claims since mid 2015, And supposedly max would drive a ferrari in 2016. I think RB is happy to let max spend another year at TR. It has only been a couple of races and kvyat was on the podium two races ago. I highly doubt it is enough to terminate the contract early. If they though it will cost RB a lot of money and i also don’t think kvyat will drive a TR. They will have a chat and Kvyat will drive better.

    1. Melvin (@)
      5th May 2016, 8:46

      of course while typing this it has been confirmed >.<

  31. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    5th May 2016, 8:41

    Helmut Marko has been looking for an excuse to get rid of Kvyat ever since signing him to the top team. The fact that he put in an impressive recovery drive in Bahrain or put together a tremendous drive to P3 in China is seemingly irrelevant when you have a wunderkid. In reality Kvyat, has been predominantly immensely impressive ever since joining F1, and in the eyes of most has more than justified his place in F1.

    As for Verstappen, at his current level I wouldn’t think he’d be much of an improvement on Daniil, and I certainly don’t yet think he is at a level where he could be challenging Ricciardo. Of course, he is a likely future champion, that will change, but does future potential justify the ruination of a career? Given the insomnia it would require to forget Kvyat’s recent impressive drives, I can’t help but feel that the marketability of the teenage sensation is a factor versus that of a brusk Russian.

  32. The really scary thing about the Kvyat situation is that it is being touted by really reputable sources (Noble, Saward et al), so it looks like this is going to happen. What a great shame for Kvyat, he is a real talent and everyone seems to agree on that point and he is still really young.

    This has more to do with holding on to Max Verstappen long term than Kvyat’s driving, which is effectively being used as an excuse to get Verstappen in the RBR this season (which he wanted last year but just did’t manage to pull off).

  33. I wondered if Max had been offered a juicy deal elsewhere and the Red Bull management are desperately trying to keep him in the organisation. Could make sense.

  34. lockup (@)
    5th May 2016, 9:15

    I can hardly believe the noise generator thing. Fake noise?

    I know not everyone is happy with the natural noise of an efficient low-revving turbo, because of the associations we built up over decades that loud=power, but who likes FAKE?

    Hopefully it’s something they can take off again after some emergency meetings when they discover that while F1 fans may be stupid we aren’t THAT stupid, but it makes me wonder if F1 is at its peak right now and is about to begin its inevitable descent. It is Bernie’s creation, after all, so perhaps it will simply decline with him as the decision-making becomes ever more shallow.

    Next years cars will ‘look’ fast, apparently, and now they will ‘sound’ loud! What next? Driver makeup so they ‘look’ brave? Bottled gas for flames out of the exhaust? They could make them pop on the overrun, with a popping machine.

    1. @lockup

      Me neither. Utter nonsense. I personally find it quite insulting.

      If we’re going to have a noise generator, let’s at least have some fun with it, let’s get one of those novelty song thingy’s, with like an ice cream truck jingle, and a cow mooing built into it :D.

      Or better yet, how about blasting out some AC/DC? :D. Very on point considering the hybrid I think ;).

      1. lockup (@)
        5th May 2016, 15:12

        Yep insulting is the word @thef1engineer.

        AC/DC? Lovely, just a bit, well… real, doncha think? How about 77? Or there is an AC/DC coverband called FA/KE would you believe :)

  35. The decision is based on data; simulator and on track. It seems that Max Verstappen convinces the board with his skills during the GP’s and simulator work to swap places right away. They must be very impressed and i believe they see in him a possible new DWC and honestly; so do I.
    Ofcourse i feel sorry for Kvyat but does it not shows also that in the top of anny sport there is only room for the very best.

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