It looks like Red Bull has wasted no time making changes to its driver line-up following Daniil Kvyat’s controversial race mishap in Sochi, which compromised the race of two other drivers, one of which was Kvyat’s own teammate.
Red Bull Racing has announced that it is making a change to its driver line-up before the race heads to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. Instead of Kvyat, Red Bull’s other driver is now young Max Verstappen who has been driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull sister team.
Of the 18-year-old Dutchman’s move, Horner explained, “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.” Meanwhile, Verstappen calls the promotion “an amazing opportunity.”
Moreover, this latest move by Red Bull will, hopefully, appease two drivers Kvyat had affected during his mishap.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo were both understandably furious following the race events of the Russian Grand Prix. It was in the opening lap of the race when Kvyat’s car made contact with Vettel’s at Turn 2 and forced the Ferrari to hit Ricciardo’s Red Bull. The two drivers still managed to drive on after that. At Turn 3, however, Kvyat once again made contact with Vettel’s rear. This time, Vettel’s car ended up hitting the barriers.
Needless to say, Vettel was enraged following the contact. The four-time world champion was left to pick up pieces of his car before he was taken back to the paddock. When he got back, Vettel had also taken the time to go over to Horner to have a word with him regarding Kvyat.
Of the exchange, Horner said, “Obviously Seb was slightly frustrated. All I could do was apologise, because this week it was unfortunately a mistake from Dany.”
Moreover, during an interview with Motorsport, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had also said they would talk to Kvyat.
Speculation has since been high that Red Bull would sign Verstappen for the 2017 season following Kvyat’s mishap. Today, Horner explained that all four drivers in Red Bull and Toro Rosso have longer term contracts, allowing them to move drivers across the two teams.
As for Kvyat, he said that moving back to his old team will allow him to “continue his development” while giving him the chance to “regain his form.”