Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Kvyat reaches the end of the road as Marko confirms he won’t return

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Daniil Kvyat’s Formula One career with Red Bull and Toro Rosso is over according to the team’s motorsports advisor Helmut Marko.

Toro Rosso will not recall the 23-year-old, who made his grand prix debut for them in 2014, Marko told Auto Bild.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit of the Americas, 2017
2017 United States GP in pictures
The team announced on Monday Pierre Gasly would return to the team in Kvyat’s place for this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix. Gasly will be partnered by Brendon Hartley, who made his F1 debut at the Circuit of the Americas.

Kvyat finished tenth in what now looks to have been his final race for the team. Hartley, who had a grid penalty due to a power unit change, finished 13th.

After the race Kvyat was very pleased with his performance, describing it as “more than perfect.”

“The best race of the season for sure,” he added. “Fantastic. Got the maximum out of our car, very happy about it as well.”

“I know I’ve done a perfect Friday, perfect Saturday, even more perfect Sunday,” he added. “So I don’t know what else I can do.”

Kvyat started a total of 72 races for Toro Rosso and Red Bull. He was promoted to the top team at the end of his first year at Toro Rosso following Sebastian Vettel’s move to Ferrari.

He took podium finishes in the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix and again the following year in China. But at the next race he collided twice with Vettel at the start and was dropped to make way for Max Verstappen. He returned to Toro Rosso and was retained for this season before being dropped for good.

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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120 comments on “Kvyat reaches the end of the road as Marko confirms he won’t return”

  1. Still feel he’s the most hard done by driver RB ever had. He was promoted too soon and paid the price for not being Verstappen. His talent (for me) is undeniable, his psychological strength however is terrible. A good team would nurture him and allow him to recover. I hope it’s not too late for him to find that elsewhere, but most likely it is.

    1. @hahostolze I understand your sentiment, but I think Red Bull is hard but fair. They are not looking for good drivers, they are looking for champions. If you have to be nurtured because you are psychological not up for it, you most likely won’t end up being world champion.

      I feel sorry for Kvyat, but he got almost 2 years with STR to recover, but he failed to do so. Other teams are free to pick up Red Bulls Rejects, but they never did in the past (with Buemi, Alguersuari, Vergne and so on), which tells me that other teams might agree with RB’s judgement.

      1. In a list with Buemi, Alguersuari, Vergne, I would not even put Kvyat at the top.
        Yet Kvyat was allowed to do more races than any of those.

        No, not ‘hard done by’ in my opinion.

        1. I think Red Bull would really like a Russian rushin’ around in their car… ;)

    2. @hahostolze – The question you have to ask is will he (or should he) replace either of the RB drivers in the next year or two? If the answer is no, there is no point in him staying with Toro Rosso.

      1. @matthijs There are countless world class athletes who need constant mental coaching. Doesn’t stop their success eventually. Red Bull just gave up

        @petebaldwin yes, that’s indeed the question you need to be asking. But, and I’m probably alone in this, I’m far from convinced that a fully prepared and coached Kvyat is a worse driver than Sainz, if and when Ricciardo leaves. Keep him at TR and let him get there. Now they’re harking back to guys they dropped over six years ago. That’s nor progress.

        1. @hahostolze

          There are countless world class athletes who need constant mental coaching. Doesn’t stop their success eventually

          I wholehearty agree, but it’s also a matter of chance. The chances are higher that a mentally stronger driver than Kvyat will become champion. Chances are that Kvyat will be stronger than Sainz, but the chance that Kvyat cracks under pressure is apparenty larger than that Sainz will crack under pressure. Red Bull’s approach is not the only approach, but it has always been succesful AND gives a lot of drivers an opportunity to try.

        2. Horner did say that all their drivers get psychological coaching as part of the program. Kyvat has had this input already and he isn’t as quick as Sainz. I think that the decision has more to do with attitude/fit with the team. They decided he doesn’t gel with their culture and that’s why he is going. They know he has talent and that’s why he has had so many years under the RB banner. I do hope he can get a drive elsewhere but history isn’t on his side..

        3. @hahostolze

          Red Bull just gave up

          Red Bull didn’t just give up, they caused the damage in the first place – promoted too early (over JEV, who would have been a better choice for RBR in ‘15) then kicked to the kerb for not being the ‘next big thing’, finally to be humiliated for what amounts to PR purposes as they had burned through their ‘stock’ of drivers.

        4. They didn’t give up. Red Bull young drivers program is dead. They are now just selling places in Toro Rosso. And Kvyat doesn’t have a father with contacts, who can tell Whiting and Horner what to do and command Horner to make Ricciardo a second driver.

          There is no even point for him and Ricciardo to continue with Red Bull at all. It’s now Verstappen Racing totally controlled by Max Verstappen.

          1. Jos* of course

          2. Or could you say the young driver programme is (temporarily) obsolete signing Max until 2020? They have two championship contenders in their cars.

          3. @azmo, except that Ricciardo is out of contract at the end of next year and Marko has indicated that they might not be able to hold onto him if a place opens up at another team (and both Bottas and Raikkonen would be out of contract at the end of 2018 too).

            However, with Horner having talked publicly about building the team around Verstappen, having a “good enough” driver might be perfectly fine with them if they are likely to focus more of their resources onto just one driver.

          4. Also Toro Rosso is up for sale since Red Bull can’t really focus on two teams in the same time. Red Bull is also not winning, despite having a bigger budget than Ferrari or Mercedes and not even developing an engine at least. The Red Bull drivers program was decent at least, they got Vettel, now Verstappen, it’s time to move on and focus on Red Bull. Because things are getting harder and well those years when they won are getting… older by the minute.

          5. @regs That’s a terrible thing to read and I hope it was an exaggeration, but I fear it wasn’t..

      2. What and Dylan Hartley will ??

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          25th October 2017, 13:49

          I doubt it Tony!!

        2. Considering he’s an England rugby player I highly doubt it… ;)

    3. This, he is terrible mentally. His mental preparation must have sucked.

      Demotion from RBR destroyed him basically. Top drivers survive that, look at Alonso in similarly demoted car performance. He can get a job done. Not Kvyat, nothing excellent since 2015.

      In a sport where you are only as good as your last race… That is not good enough.

      Hartley may not show speed yet, but he does show maturity on a level Kvyat never had.

      All is well then in RBR stable.

    4. Hard done by? Really? Red Bull paid for his career though the junior ranks, put him into F1, nurtured him at the junior team, gave him a shot at a top team and he failed to impress. Now his time is up and he has to move on. He should be thanking Marko for the opportunity not feeling hard done by IMO.

      1. And he was dominating all those junior series. He quite impressed, he failed in politics.

    5. When you’re all about the money people don’t matter.

  2. William B Davis
    25th October 2017, 9:52

    I think he had a fair crack of the whip. Marko has a fair few young drivers on the metaphorical scrapheap now…hard to feel too bad given they’re all multi-millionaires in their 20s.

    Unless your face fits with him, it’s obviously hard to get by.

    1. This.
      Where other teams often enlist millionaires Red Bull gives talents a chance to prove themselves.
      Kvyat has had almost 4 years. Time for other talents to get a chance too.

      1. Sean Gelael is a pay driver in Red bull program, it seems like their philosophy of bringing in talent first is taking a backseat these days.

        1. The younger driver market does seem to be far more competitive now.

        2. Only by lack of supply.
          Ferrari and Mercedes have woken up, Renault is active again; Leclerc, Norris are coming but not with Red Bull.
          There are drivers in the Red Bull young driver programme but they are nowhere near the right level – yet.
          In two years time they may well be.

          Gelael is not good enough to ever make it into F1, or so it seems. Who knows how limited the racing schools are over there; how much he has been missing out and can still learn.
          His presence may have more to do with business connections than just drawn paychecks. Want a can with your KFC chicken? Give the boy some playtime. And who knows. Stroll is rich, but not half bad.
          On the face of it Haryanto was a better driver, good in rainy conditions except for that one race in F1. Still not world class and now retired.

    2. While I’m fairly sure these young drivers get a decent salary, for doing something most of us will over ever dream of. Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that a driver such as Kvyat, in this position is indeed a multi-millionaire?
      Excluding wealth from other sources (e.g. family).

      1. William B Davis
        25th October 2017, 12:49

        I don’t – but a brief look at his social media accounts suggest he’s going ‘alright’ for himself. Plus he appears to be dating Nelson Piquet’s daughter.

        1. That’s until he is replaced.

  3. I remember when Horner said he and Vettel were according to data, the fastest drivers that the Red Bull program had ever produced…

    Can’t say i’m too surprised at this though. 2 demotions, a stinking attitude and torpedo tendencies aren’t the best combination.

    1. Both also prone to crashing…….. With eachother.

      1. So one crash in Sochi and that it? Verstappen crashed dozens of drivers since then and no one even noticed.

        1. Verstappen have won already 2 gps and is costantly faster than Ricciardo on saturdays and won the battle against Sainz in TR. Need to be more consistent on sundays, but he’s on another level than Kvyat.

        2. @regs

          Probably because it only happened in your imagination.

  4. About time too. This guy has had more chances than anyone else in the F1 paddock… ever?! Shows flashes of speed but too inconsistent, too rash, too hot headed and along with a few others on the grid filling up a seat that plenty of others would put to better use.

    1. Andrea de cesaris got a few too many chances.

  5. Can’t forget the fact that he was chosen over Da Costa, coincidently in the first year of the Russian GP, I wonder how it would have been should have they opted to give a chance to the Portuguese (then) rising star.

    1. Da Costa would probably have been dropped before Kvyat was, if not just for his speed, but also for his lack of reliable sponsors.

  6. Yes, I feel for him, but on the other hand, I’m not too surprised about this decision as he hasn’t really delivered since he was demoted to Toro Rosso.

  7. While I am saddened by this, it is not unexpected and to be fair to Marko and Red Bull, they have given him more chances than I can recall them giving any of their junior drivers in the past.

    Kvyat is undeniably quick and on his day can put in some very impressive drives, but those days are too few and far between. He has also been a shadow of his former self since this demotion/promotion merry-go-round started which is understandable as it was bound to knock his confidence.

    If I was the team principal of a team in the lower midfield I would be tempted to take a punt on him. He reminds me a bit of Grosjean, quick but in need of a bit of TLC. If someone was willing to put their arm round him and give him a bit of love, they may be able to iron out the kinks and find themselves with a very quick racing driver.

  8. I agree that Kvyat should go, but I can’t help but feel complete disgust towards Marko. “Kvyat will not return again,” he bluntly told Auto Bild. “We do not believe he can make the turnaround in the long term.” The way they dangle this young man back and forth and then discard him like a used condom is just awful. They should have never run him in Austin, as it is obvious now his results there never mattered – they’d throw him away anyway. I firmly believe this is not the way to treat your drivers – forget their morale, this is crushing and destroying a person as a whole.

    1. Don’t feel too sorry for him, as someone mentioned above Red Bull have made him a twenty something millionaire and even 1 season let alone multiple in F1 is a glowing reference for most other race series’. He’ll be fine.

      1. Again, no source for him being a millionaire.

        1. Well @paeschli he won’t be sleeping under a bridge either. But yeah I agree with you in the fact that how much money he made is irrelevant. However, I agree with others about knowing Kvyat should have been out much earlier.

          1. From the get-go, the appropriate thing to do was not promote Kvayt to Red Bull so soon. But if they did, that should have been a thought-through decision, so the right thing would be to let him stay with Red Bull to the end of the year, and then, if they “saw no turnaround”, let him go altogether. When he was demoted to TR he had a recent podium to his name and voted a driver of the day on F1.com, so it’s not like he was at Palmer’s level.

            If he was not good enough for Red Bull program – let him go – others would have likely picked him up after 2014-2015. Instead, Marko and Jos treated him like a ‘thing’ that got in the way, and seeing the recent merry-go-round, they continued to do so.

            A lot of people here say he got plenty of second chances – I somewhat agree, but at the same, the way I see it, it was rather out of necessity, as Red Bull had even less confidence in others. Basically, the people you feel closest with destroy your trust in them, as well as your confidence, and then tell you – c’mon, show us that you are worthy. That can’t be healthy at all, and it’s obvious he never recovered.

  9. I think kvyat’s crashes were in the end just an excuse to get verstappen into the red bull. Red bull probably needed a reason to make the change and it was the perfect storm when kvyat had his incidents. In the end though kvyat’s record on red bull only really looks good because ricciardo had so many car issues. Whenever ricciardo had a dnf he was ahead of kvyat. On race pace kvyat was not a match on ricciardo.

    Back at toro rosso kvyat could not get back there and as such his career was already over. But that also raises a question. If red bull did not think kvyat was not a good match for red bull then they should not need to put him back into the toro rosso? Why do that at all? I don’t remember maybe it was simply there not being a driver available deserving a drive to be put into the toro rosso? There could be some contractual reasons as well why kvyat was kept at toro rosso. Maybe marko felt bad for kvyat because he was just moved aside so abruptly.

    Or maybe kvyat was just kept as a measuring stick so they could compare him to sainz. Now when both kvyat and sainz are out of toro rosso I’d imagine red bull was not happy with sainz either and kvyat is proven to be not fast enough so he gets the boot. It is just weird red bull kept kvyat at toro rosso for so long after it was evident his f1 future was gone.

    1. Horner has said that there is very little new talent coming through that isn’t contracted already. Hence a 27 year old in their junior team and they are signing kids as young as 13/14 to fill the void. I suspect little in the way of other options and a known quantity is a good measuring stick for Sainz.

  10. Red Bull’s driver development programme is vicious to say the least, but to be fair they did give him plenty of opportunities to show his worth and he mostly disappointed. Specially against Sainz.

    But I get the feeling that Red Bull themselves killed his confidence. An expected but sad way to end an F1 career.

  11. It’s the right decision but still shabby treatment from RB towards yet another driver. F1 teams should just be F1 teams, not junior squads.

    Next up for the door, Grosjean, and I won’t feel sorry for him like I do with Kvyat.

    1. I agree! Grosjean next. I’m sick of his moaning and lack of skills. Same goes for Magnussen btw. The most unsporting driver.. Haha

  12. I feel terribly conflicted over poor Kvyat. On the one hand, I really feel for the poor guy. On the other, he has had plenty of time now to have recovered from his demotion, which he never did.

    I have a lingering feeling that there is a great racer in there somewhere and I hope that, like Hartley, he grows from this experience and comes back stronger in a different category. Red Bull have given Kvyat more chances to prove himself than any other driver in their stable, so I guess Marko also had this lingering feeling that Kvyat has a lot to offer. But, like McLaren with Honda, you can’t wait forever for the situation to come good.

    1. He had far more car issues than anyone else in Red Bull.

  13. Lets see why Kyvat actually got dropped in the first place:
    China 2016
    1. Marko’s 1st Golden Boy leaves a large gap on the inside of the 1st corner of the first lap at Shanghai.
    2. Kyvat see’s the large gap and goes for it. His right to, he racing.
    3. Golden 1 tries to take the inside to get some space from Kimi but Kyvat’s already there
    4. Golden 1 smashes into Kimi and proceeds to blame Kyvat for it so it dosen’t look bad on him since the Ferrari bosses were in attendance, even tho it was G1’s fault.
    5. Golden 1 proceeds to confront Kyvat on the podium about him taking up road he wanted to use, Precedent Set

    Note: As we have seen in the past and this year espeacailly, Golden 1(Vettel) refuses to take any responsibility for his actions/mistakes whatever. Unless he’s politically forced too.

    Russia 2016
    Torpedo was Born on the first lap.
    His first accidental Torpedo into the back of Golden 1.
    Golden 1 then proceeds to run to Marko and Horner and Talk about Kyvat since he’s still upset about the week before and that Ferrari’s challenge to Mercedes had obviously failed so early.
    Since Marko and Horner were looking for a reason to get Verstappen in to keep him away from Mercedes and Ferrari,
    Kyvat’s bed was made.
    Kyvat is thrown out the team, for the sole reason they were looking for a reason to get Verstappen in.
    The crash with Golden 1 was the most obvious smokescreen reason ever.

    I feel sorry for Kyvat, Red Bull(Marko) has mentally damage him so young and he’s living up to the false Torpedo name.

    BTW didn’t Kyvat beat Ricciardo in 2015???
    Kyvat had a DNS, 2 retirements and 2 no point finishes.
    Ricciardo had 2 retirements and 4 no point finishes.

    End of 2015 season
    Kyvat 95
    Ricciardo 92

    1. It wasn’t just China and Russia in 2016, his ultimate pace was nothing like what happened in 2015 and was getting handily beaten by Ricciardo. Russia was just the final straw, a dumb mistake that inadvertently took out Ricciardo as well.

      As for 2015, the points at the end of the season is misleading by just looking at the raw stats. The RBR car wasn’t great in the first half of the season because of the change in regulations to the plank. This is when the majority of Kvyat’s retirements came when RBR were struggling for points. Once Red Bull found out and sorted the issue from Silverstone onwards was when the team could score big points again – this where Ricciardo’s main non-scoring point finishes came and that had an impact on the overall H2H.

      You will see that in almost all major F1 publications at the end of the season – including this site – Ricciardo was still rated higher than Kvyat despite him losing the team-mate battle in the standings because if you actually watched the season Ricciardo was still the better and faster driver even if the points didn’t reflect that in the end.

      Kvyat has had more chance in RB than all the other drivers before him. Reasons why he IMO has been treated fairly by RB:
      1) He had far more chances than any other RB driver had even after the demotion to retain a spot in the stable
      2) He has had too many incidents of his own making that is costly to himself and the team whether it be TR or RB, that isn’t going to win you WDCs or WCCs
      3) He does not have the ultimate pace of the fastest RB drivers i.e. Ricciardo and Verstappen
      4) Not mentally strong, especially after the demotion, if he was mentally strong he would have worked hard to prove to the RB bosses that he was still the right choice in the first place by beating Sainz but that didn’t happen
      5) RB’s program has always been to give talented drivers the chance in F1 to determine WDC worthy drivers, Kvyat is not one of them as above points so why would RB keep Kvyat on it’s payroll if he is just going to keep being a midfield driver

      There are probably more reasons but I do not feel sorry for Kvyat. As Webber said, F1 is not a learning school.

    2. Ironically had it not been for Rosberg and Hamilton destroying Ricciardo’s race at Hungary that year (Hamilton for slamming into the side or Ricciardo after the safety car restart and Rosberg taking his nose off close to the end) those points would be at the very least reversed, Kvyat even said on the podium that he deserved to be ahead of Ricciardo.

    3. And look at this year
      Ricciardo – 192
      Verstappen – 123
      And Verstappen managed to crash Ricciardo out of few races.

      But who cares. It’s now Max Verstappen Racing, not Red Bull Racing. And Horner already said – Ricciardo would be number 2 next year.

      1. Jos Verstappen Racing*

      2. Your dislike for Max is obviously getting the better of you – that was one race.
        And I think the Max-Danny points standoff is along the lines of the Danny-Kvyat standoff in 2015; most of the times Max has DNFed, he was ahead of Ric

    4. Marko and Horner were looking for a reason to get Verstappen in to keep him away from Mercedes and Ferrari

      So? Yes Kvyat was swapped out to get Verstappen in and they used the first excuse they could. I don’t see the issue. It was clearly 100% the right move for Red Bull.

  14. I agree with some of the comments above- correct decision be he wasn’t treated well by Red Bull, but that’s not a first (JEV comes to mind). He has talent but was thrown in the deep end too early, then smashed mentally when demoted and really never recovered.

    Timing with Max coming in didn’t help but I guess it shows he isn’t up to Max’s standard. Max’s comments about fans not going to US next year were very poor, but with being young and pretty angry you can see why he said it, but he bounces back and preforms well in the car.

    Poor Daniil wasn’t so strong and I don’t think anyone will pick him up next year – see what happens in 2019.

    1. Max’s comments about fans not going to US next year were very poor

      We all know what he was doing there – talking to Liberty/Brawn to reign FIA/stewards in ;)

      1. True- but he must be careful as just 20 years ago, not even, those comments may have cost him a race or two.
        Jos can make any comments he likes, but FIA can just revoke his Paddock credentials as well if they like.

        Its a nice power struggle in play :)

        1. as just 20 years ago, not even, those comments may have cost him a race or two.

          Correct – pregnant ventriloquists were not allowed to race 20 years ago ;)

    2. He was strong enough until Jos Verstappen took control over the team. And Max is much younger. And was crashing far more often than Kvyat.

  15. IMO, Kvyat is the case of someone just too young for F1, especially for Red Bull big time.

  16. He’ll be a big name in Formula Eek or the one where they drive for 16 hours in front of 9 people. Maybe even in the one where a Honda Civic races a Seat Leon for 16 laps.

    4 years in f1 is a career and a great stepping stone, albeit a long way down. He’s had more chances than Harry Kane and missed the lot. Feel sorry for him >?! Hes been blessed and he blew it.

  17. Kvyat just doesn’t push the team hard enough. Prior to Kvyat racing in the main team, Ricciardo was being pushed by Vettel, Vettel left and Kvyat promoted and most of 2015 was stagnant racing from the main team (Kvyat’s 2015 podium was only due to Ricciardo’s misfortune at the hands of Hamilton and Rosberg). In 2016 the first few races started out to be similarly unable to push and holding the team back. Verstappen entered the main team and immediately both drivers improved massively. Kvyat’s response was dismal, allowing for the psychological impact, after Spa, he should have been able to be challenging Sainz, he didn’t and hasn’t particularly been glowing this season either.

    1. only part you left out was Kyvatt put the crap Redbull car on the podium in 2016 , Max’s first race was the upgrade car with preformance improvements . I am not saying that Max isn’t a better driver all round ,he is but its also forgotten that Max’s first race win included a Merc implosion and it was with an improved redbull car.

      Kyvatt has been screwed from the first time he touched Vettel . even this season his qualifing against Sainz was pretty even over head to head , I think Sainz was 2 up before he got dropped . Most of Kyvatts DNF this season were Car related not Crash lated , Sainz’s DNF are more Crash Related I am Pretty sure. Sainz also is probably a better racer but Kyvatt should still have an F1 Drive , Far better driver than Erricson , Wehlerin , K-Mag , Grosjean.

      1. And you can add that after Verstappen’s first race, he had one of the worst weekends I can remember by any driver in the past few years. 3 crashes. A huge amount of parts broken. He crashes in practice. The team get it fixed for qualifying. He turns in to early and then smashes into the barrier just after the corner. The team get it fixed for the race. He runs to wide, hits the barrier and retires. Can’t say that weekend looked like he would be as good as he turned out to be. That made me think he would be very inconsistent. Even in his first race in 2016, Verstappen was a bit messy. Contacting his team mate and spinning.

        But I think I can agree that Kvyat is better than the drivers you mention. Certainly when he’s been good. and with another chance and a bit more luck in the season, I don’t see why he couldn’t put in another 2015 performance. I know this is just the stats, but he beat Ricciardo in 2015 and he’s been pretty much even with Sainz in qualifying this year. Is his performances really enough to not have him in the sport when he is still young and could easily get far better? I think it is too much for another team not to give him another chance in another team. I think with a start with an all new team and team mate, he will be back up to his ability from a couple of years ago.

  18. He never really recovered from being demoted. He did enough in 2015 to prove to other constructors that he is a talent worth taking a punt on.
    F1 is a sport where confidence is everything and when that is rocked, driver performance can suffer badly, see Alonso in 2007, Hamilton in 2011, Vettel in 2014, Button in 2008 and Rosberg in the latter part of 2014 & most of 2015.
    Thankfully these guys got the chance to dust themselves off and restart again and gradually rebuild their confidence.
    Kyvat is a guy when in the 3rd fastest car is capable of challenging and getting podiums. He is not at the level of Riccardio or Verstappen or the other guys mentioned in my post but is better than some of the other deadwood currently in F1.
    However if he gets the chance to compete and possibly succeed in another series than the two/three horse race that is F1, it may be a blessing in disguise.

    1. digitalrurouni
      25th October 2017, 13:14

      Agreed about the deadwood comment.

  19. Best case Scenario in the future:

    Kyvat grows up, comes back as a team boss of a major manufacturer in the future, his team have the best and most sought after engine.
    Red Bull and Marko come begging Kyvat’s team for a engine after Red Bull had a few mediocre years, Kyvat plays them along and pulls the plug on a supply deal at the last second. Leaving Red Bull in mediocrity.

    -Hey i can dream, but god i would love for this to happen.

  20. He is only 23, a lot of drivers hadn’t even made their debut at this age.

    This is what happens when you promote drivers before they are ready. Some drivers just need more time than others. Kovalainen and Perez at McLaren are good examples of this, except they both found seats elsewhere.

    However, it doesn’t surprise me. Red Bull have always treated their drivers badly once they are done with them, and I got the impression that Kvyat was always being used as a stop gap at Red Bull: when you consider they chose him over Vergne, that seemed like an odd decision. And then they demoted him just two races after he had been on the podium.

    I reckon he’ll struggle to find a seat, given how few there are, but I reckon he’d do well if he returned with another team in a few years.

  21. It’s crazy to think that Schumacher started his F1 career 4 months before he turned 23. Kvyat’s barely a year older, yet he’s seen the end of the road already (yes, I very much doubt anyone else would hire him in F1).

    How times have changed.

    1. And Senna was 24 – even older than Kvyat now.

  22. I wonder why Red Bull finds it difficult to recruit talent to their Junior Programme? Surely the way Buemi, Alguersari and Vergne were treated has got nothing to do with why they are now reduced to Gasly, a 11th hour recalled Hartley and having no other option but to race the already discarded Kvyat at Austin? Surely talented youngsters would want to drive for Uncle Marko and Red Bull rather than sign with McLaren or Mercedes?

    1. Without Red Bull, at least some of these names would never have gotten a sniff of F1(under Toro Rosso first, if that wasn’t clear). At least they had the chance to prove themselves. I’m sure they realise the double-edged sword they are working with here, when they enter.

    2. I think that Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Renault all saw the success of the Red Bull program and started to pick up drivers. At the same time Red Bull are looking towards their exit from F1 team ownership come 2020/2021, so may have chosen to scale back the young driver program.

      1. McLaren had a similar programme up and running at least as early as the 1990s, loooooooooong before Red Bull. One of the graduates of that programme is Lewis Hamilton…

  23. Well, time for Kvyat to find a seat in F1 next year. Sauber and Williams have not confirmed either driver for next season. Ericsson and Stroll most likely can get contracts but Wehrlein and Massa don’t look like they’ll get seats. Williams could try out Kvyat for next year although I’d guess they’d get Di Resta or Kubica or even Massa. Sauber on the other hand could use Kvyat. We know how JEV went to Ferrari as a development driver and Kvyat could try the same with another team. I hope he gets on the grid next year. My ideal scenario would be Williams with Kubica and Wehrlein and Sauber with Kvyat and Ericsson.

  24. He has had multiple chances. The team did nurture him to some extent. He was in the midst of the 20 fastest race drivers. Well done. Enormeous achievement. Now its time to focus on something else.

  25. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    25th October 2017, 13:51

    I all fairness to Marko, DK said at the weekend he wanted immediate clarity on his future

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      25th October 2017, 13:57

      @fullcoursecaution Yeah, be careful what you ask for :-) It might not be what you’d hoped for…

    2. Yeah, can’t get any clearer than this.

  26. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    25th October 2017, 14:07

    As a driver Kvyat hasn’t resonated with me over the past 3-4 years. On the other hand, both Verstappen and Sainz are drivers that I now support – despite being a vocal critic of Verstappen’s for a while. I’ve seen Hartley in a few interviews and he seems like a nice chap and very down to earth.

    He’s not above stepping in a Toro Rosso for a test drive despite the fact that he’s won so many races and he’s had no single seater racing in a while.

    I think that’s what might have cost Kvyat his seat. Here’s a go-getter who has won some of the biggest championships and races in motorsport and he’s just delighted to have a chance to be in that car even though it could cost him his career.

    After Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull, Sainz grabbed the bull by the horns and displayed some insane strength at the team. Even Red Bull believes deep down that he deserves a better seat. He did the same with Renault in his 1st race and has proven that. Kvyat sees Toro Rosso as a sentence and he has backed himself into a corner that he can’t get out of.

    So it was unfortunately inevitable for Kvyat and his 2 racing incidents this year with Sainz didn’t help because he cost the team a lot of points by getting involved with Sainz. That’s not counting all the other incidents and Kvyat’s performance.

    I would recommend that he goes to another category or even takes a year in Formula 2. He’s young and he has his whole life to get better and make a comeback.

  27. I suspect we’ll see him eventually in IndyCar, replacing another mad Russian (Aleshin).

  28. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    25th October 2017, 14:18

    On another related topic, I think the sport as a whole has a preference for racers with an English language background. The sport is mostly centered in the UK with the exception of a couple of teams and I think any driver who can display good performance and speaks English has a slight advantage over a non native English speaking driver. There are advantages to having a speaker that the team can communicate with more naturally and effectively.

    Ferrari are probably the exception since they are based in Italy and communication amongst Italians is already very difficult to begin with so the less the driver says, the better. I can definitely see Raikonnen’s appeal for Ferrari. They need at least one quiet driver while they’re all shouting :-) Massa was also a quiet but honest driver and it’s no surprise he had a very long career at Ferrari.

    1. Not buying that. First off, Kvyat’s english was fine…certainly no detriment to working up the car on race weekends. If language was such a barrier he wouldn’t have made it onto an F1 team. Secondly, ‘communication amongst Italians is already very difficult…?’ No, just no. They can communicate in English as well. Also drivers such as Vettel, Rosberg, and Alonso are multi-lingual. Schumacher wasn’t. So…’the less the driver says, the better?’ Again, just no.

      1. Also, while Kvyat is Russian, I believe he lived most of his life in Italy (and now in Monaco), and speaks Italian, as well as English and Spanish (and Russian obviously) – so language was never a problem.

  29. Probably the right decision to be honest…

  30. Disappointing because he has genuine talent.

    Not so disappointing because it was becoming abundantly clear that he was never again going to find a way to access said talent in F1.

  31. Very poor management by RB.
    I dont think he was ready for F1 and its not called the piranha pool for nothing, if you dont swim fast, you get eaten.
    But to treat a young man the way they have over the last month is really poor management.

    1. All this mess can be traced back to Red Bull promoting Kvyat over Vergne.

      1. @paeschli indeed. It occurred to me, however, that it may have been intentional if Red Bull had anticipated wanting Verstappen in the car.

        Vergne is certainly one of the best drivers not in F1 currently. If I were Ferrari I would have put him in a Sauber for a few years (or maybe Haas, instead of Gutierrez), and they’d have somebody ready to replace Raikkonen

  32. If Williams has half a brain, they will give Massa’s seat to Kvyat.

    Doubt that will happen though, since he isn’t 25 yet.

    1. Williams have now stated that finding the right marketing fit for Martini is not the number one consideration.

      Personally, I’d much prefer Kubica to have another shot at F1.

      1. I’d prefer kubica cause he deserves a chance to try a comeback to f1, at least a year; if kubica isn’t an option, massa deserves to stay, he improved this year. If none is an option, then I prefer kvyat racing for a more relaxed team than red bull, like williams, might be good for his confidence, vs a weaker team mate (stroll) than di resta ofc.

  33. Michael Brown (@)
    25th October 2017, 17:38

    I would like to see him continue in another team, taking the place of a driver like Magnussen.

  34. Mixed feelings about this. In a way it feels like there’s something still to prove, on the other hand he’s in F1 for quite some years and didn’t show anything to resemble to champ material. Overall, I think it’s the right decision for a team like RBR. It’s obvious that RBR is looking for champ material drivers, most likely Kvyat is no champ material, this means no reasons for them to keep him anymore. Thing is, champ material drivers show glimpses of excellency right from the start. Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen… all of them showed something impressive right from the start, no need to elaborate. Not the case with Kvyat after 4 years in F1. His only chance is a midfield (or worse) team, but only if he’s backed up by a big sponsor. Williams, for example, might hire him…

  35. From another angle. Next year for TR is going to be difficult with Honda power. Maybe TR looked for a driver that can help develop a car and offer better feedback to the team. Did Kvyat bring that to the table? Does Harley bring that development side of the equation to TR? All good having young drivers if a car is fully sorted but when you have a new car/engine combination do you need a more “engineering/development” focus for the first year? A focus that requires some maturity and “miles on the clock”.

    Now I don’t know what engineering/development Hartley did for Mercedes and Porsche so could be barking up the wrong tree.

  36. I do think Kvyat wouldn’t have been anywhere near as bad if he was allowed to finish the 2016 season at Red Bull. It may be difficult for people to believe me here, but I think all 4 drivers over Red Bull and Toro Rosso will have got the most out of themselves for their cars ability if none of the switching had happened. I don’t think Kvyat will have got been significantly less points than Verstappen did if he remained at Red Bull. What didn’t work out is that when Kvyat got dropped, his performance did too. But I really do have to heavily blame the team for this. They got a better option for Red bull but basically made Toro Rosso a lot worse than they made Red Bull improve if that made any sense. If Kvyat had been dropped at the end of 2015 back to Torro Rosso for this year and had a full season, I think him and Verstappen will have both had better years with the team they were at. And in 2016, I don’t think Kvyat will have been so broken if he had the chance to remain for the rest of the season, therefor I think he still will have done a reasonable job. And meantime, Verstappen will have been doing a brillient job for Toro Rosso.

    I really think Red Bull have been rather unfair to Kvyat and they way he’s been treated this year is really cruel IMO. He hasn’t had the chance to complete 2 full seasons without getting kicked about. And his reliability has been worse than most the last couple of years too which doens’t reflect the amount of points he may have collected.

    1. In my sentence where I said “if none of the switching had happened” I only mean the switch mid season in 2016. I certainly don’t mean to imply the drivers will have all done a better job if Kvyat had remained with Red Bull until now and Verstappen was at Toro Rosso. Just thought I’d better say this as I dian’t write it that clearly.

    2. Yep, well said.

  37. Feels like Kvyat has hung on for most of his career by virtue of Red Bull not having anyone better. Promoted to Red Bull because Vettel suddenly left, dumped as soon as Verstappen looked ready, and has only survived at Toro Rosso because there wasn’t really anyone else who looked ready.

    Therefore it’s easy to forget that he leapfrogged Antonio Felix Da Costa despite Antonio being higher in the RB ladder. Kvyat clearly had something back then, and did a reasonable job in his first season, but the demotion has obviously wrecked his confidence, and he never really recovered.

    This isn’t the end of the line for him, he’s still young and has plenty of time to make a name for himself in motorsports. The man set to replace him is a perfect example of how getting dumped from Red Bull is not the end of the world. Like Hartley, he needs to admit his shortcomings, clear his head, and start afresh. If he can do that, he can make a long fruitful career for himself.

  38. Sorry if I missed it…did Brendon Hartley get confirmed for the next 3 races? Or no news on replacement yet?

  39. People keep complaining about F1 having too many pay drivers, but when Red Bull, which is an actual meritocracy, drops its drivers after underperforming for 2-3 years, they’re not happy either. Makes no sense to me.

    Kvyat had 1 1/2 years after being demoted from RB. How many more “chances to recover” is he supposed to get?

    On an off note, since RB seems to be willing to evaluate their past academy drivers, maybe this means Alex Lynn will get a chance next. He’s the only one of their drivers they dropped not because of a lack of performance, but because they couldn’t get a seat for him in a higher series at the time. He won GP3 with them in 2014 and then left to become Williams’ development driver.

  40. I really liked Danil, good driver he was impressive in the Toro Rosso, then in the Red Bull. I really think that the Verstappen deal switch messed him up. I get people are raving about Verstappen but it really just a hype? Yes i know he is a race winner but he does make mistakes but it never really mentioned in the press.

    For Danil, I want him to get another shot maybe at Williams. Cant believe DiResta is in contention for the seat but anyway.

  41. Poor form from Red Bull. Just a whipping boy. Shouldnt of led him on like that with him thinking he would get the drive, then just drop him, then bring him back, then drop him

  42. Michael Brown (@)
    26th October 2017, 0:41

    If Red Bull stop constantly demoting Kyvat, how will Verstappen win races?

    1. Indeed, it’s insane that verstappen won 3 out of 3 races where kvyat got demoted, will red bull know of this? Probably not, or they would’ve have permanently removed kvyat now.

  43. I think this is politically motivated more than anything. It’s cruel to give him the boot after his performance last weekend.

    1. Reminds me of Jan Magnussen.

  44. I wonder if he’s ever tried rallying. These car control moments are some of the best I’ve ever seen!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhf6eR_2m3M

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mqBeZZ1Z2E

  45. Never liked Marko. But even with one eye, he could see that Kvyat has nothing more to offer. But at least Kyvat can take satisfaction that he has done more F1 races than Marko and has podium results too.

  46. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. If JEV had been promoted instead of Kvyat F1 history, and their respective careers, as well the career of one Max Verstappen, could have been completely different.

    What if JEV had been promoted instead and had proved to be a steadier, more consistently productive driver than Kvyat? (JEV seemed the right choice to me at the time, btw.)

    Would Max have been promoted to RBR when he was? Highly unlikely!

    Maybe JEV would have been the steady hand at RBR. Maybe Kvyat would have had more time to develop and mature at STR. Maybe Max would still be toiling at STR. Lots of maybes there. That last maybe seems closer to a crazy alternate universe with nearly two seasons of the Max show in the real universe history books.

  47. Lots of talented young drivers waiting. I think Red Bull should have let him go at the end of last year. He might have been able to get a seat elsewhere. Or not. Many people don’t do well in certain environments but end up shining in others.

  48. I rooted for the guy but think RB had the right to give him a boot any moment which they finally did. Ok with that. But what really amazes me in this story is the fact they asked to leave the circuit right after the race in Austin had been over and didn’t let Daniil have a chance to say “bye, thank you guys, wish you luck” to the team and his side of the garage! That’s disgusting, that’s simply disgusting, I have no other words here. As if the guy was guilty of smth else we don’t know, some trully embarrassing stuff. Shame on RB for hadling matters like this. Just shame on them, i knew their PR lacks class but never thought they can be that low. Chin up Dani, to hell with that creep Marko.

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