Max Verstappen replaces Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull

Following a disastrous Russian Grand Prix last weekend, Daniil Kvyat has been replaced at Red Bull for the rest of the season by Max Verstappen.

Verstappen replaces Kvyat at Red Bull

Following a string of recent antics and it only being four races into the 2016 Formula 1 season, many will be surprised at this driver change, with Kvyat being demoted down to Red Bull Racing’s sister team, Toro Rosso.

Last year saw Verstappen’s rookie year in Formula 1, with the Dutchman impressing many with his aggressive and hard-charging driving style. Last year, Verstappen broke a number of records, becoming the youngest driver since Kvyat in 2014 to race in Formula 1, only being 17 years of age for his first race.

In a recent press release, Red Bull team Principal, Christian Horner described¬†Verstappen as “an outstanding young talent”, stating that he was “pleased to give him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing”.

Not only is this fantastic progress for Verstappen, being in only his second year in Formula 1 and moving to a team who strongly dominated the sport from 2010- 2013, but also brings the talent of Kvyat into question, with the young Russian only being promoted to Red Bull in his second year in Formula 1, like Max Verstappen.

Although outscoring his senior team mate in the driver’s standings in the 2015 season, Kvyat has been somewhat on the back foot this season, being consistently slower than his team mate, Daniel Ricciardo, despite securing the team’s first podium of the season in the recent Chinese Grand Prix. Furthermore, Kvyat has promoted a series of first lap collisions, coming under attack from Sebastian Vettel after the Chinese Grand Prix after the Ferrari driver took evasive action in turn one from Kvyat, colliding with his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen.

Further first lap chaos can also be seen at last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, with Kvyat making contact with Vettel twice in the space of two corners, putting the German out of the race and comprising the race of Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian also sustained damage in this crash caused by Kvyat. Although the first accident in turn two was simply a racing incident, the collision that forced Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in turn three was not, with the contact between the two cars being easily avoidable on Kvyat’s part. This was summed up perfectly by Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle, with the ex McLaren driver stating that Kvyat was simply looking to gain positions, and was not focussing on the status of other cars around him, with a slow Perez backing up the pack and ultimately leading to this contact.

Through this promotion, many will be looking forward to the prospects of Verstappen for the rest of this season, with the young Dutchman being under contract with Red Bull until the end of ¬†2017. With successes driving for Toro Rosso in the 2015 season, and Red Bull supposedly being able to challenge for wins according to recent press releases, one can wonder. Could Max Verstappen become F1’s youngest race winner this season?