With six races left in 2017, Red Bull decided they had finally seen enough of Daniil Kvyat, and ushered him out of Toro Rosso.
Kvyat, who had driven for their top team before being relegated early last year, had again struggled against team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr. Whereas last year he could point to the fact he had never driven the STR11 before the Spanish Grand Prix, this time there was nothing for Kvyat to explain away his consistently sub-par performances with.
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The graph of their scores below looks strikingly similar to the one from 12 months ago. Although Kvyat continued to show decent pace in qualifying (he was just three-hundredths of a second slower than Sainz on average) he visited the points far too infrequently on race day. Only at Monza did he show Sainz the way home.
Neither driver was not immune to slip-ups: Sainz ended his race early in Canada. But Kvyat’s error at the Red Bull Ring bore the fingerprints of the Russian Grand Prix crash in what turned out to be his last race for Red Bull.
In the surprise wasn’t that Red Bull’s patience ran out, it was that it lasted as long as it did.
Sainz vs Kvyat: The scores
Sainz vs Kvyat: Season results
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||Q|
Gasly vs Hartley
Toro Rosso chopped and changed drivers following Kvyat’s departure due to the added complication of Sainz being loaned to Renault. Pierre Gasly was brought in but sat out the US round due to racing commitments in Japan while Brendon Hartley was brought in. The new pair then saw out the season.
Drawing worthwhile comparisons between the pair is almost impossible due to the persistent power unit problems Toro Rosso had at the end of the year. Hartley had grid penalties for all four of his races, and usually proved a better match for Gasly on race pace than he did in qualifying.
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