Red Bull drops reckless Kvyat for Verstappen


Scuderia Toro Rosso's Belgian-Dutch driver Max Verstappen (R) and Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Russian driver Daniil Kvyat.

LONDON - Russian Formula 1 racer Daniil Kyvat has been dropped by his team Red Bull Racing following collisions he caused at the Russian Grand Prix last weekend.

Kvyat crashed into 4-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel twice on the first lap at two different corners, in front of his home fans at Sochi, leaving the Ferrari driver with a badly damaged car and no choice but to retire.

For the second race in succession Vettel was left fuming by Kyvat&39;s impetuous aggression.

Kvyat ran in to the back of the German at Turn Two and then as the pair recovered they clashed again at Turn Three, the violence of the crash sending Vettel into a spin into the barriers and out of the race.

The Ferrari ace was so angry that his broadcast comments, via Ferrari team radio, were punctuated by a succession of &39;bleeps&39; as he swore about the incident.

Following the crash, cameras captured the 4-time champion having a talk with his former boss, Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner.

When asked what Vettel had said Horner replied “Obviously he was slightly frustrated, all I could do was apologise, because this week it was unfortunately a mistake by Daniil Kvyat.”

Kyvat had been promoted to the Red Bull team from it&39;s junior Toro Rosso team in 2015, to replace Vettel who&39;d moved to Scuderia Ferrari.

The two drivers had clashed previously at the Chinese Grand Prix where Vettel confronted Kvyat in the pre-podium room blaming him for causing his crash with teammate Kimi Raikkonen.  

“If I don’t go left [at the start], you crash into us and we all three go out. You came like a torpedo,” said Vettel before calling Kvyat a “madman” and “suicidal.”

The Russian replied saying “I was racing … I didn’t crash”. The two went back and forth before the podium celebration. 

Unlike the Chinese GP where race stewards decided not to take any action against Kvyat, this time he was given a 10 place grid penalty for Sunday’s upcoming Austrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull then announced Thursday that Toro Rosso’s teenage sensation, Max Verstappen would replace Kyvat for the rest of the season, and as punishment, Kvyat will now drop down to Verstappen&39;s seat in Red Bull&39;s junior team.

“Max has proven to be an outstanding young talent….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,” Horner said. 



Verstappen joins Australia&39;s Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull garage for the remaining 17 races of the season.

"We are in the unique position to have all four drivers across Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso under long-term contracts with Red Bull, so we have the flexibility to move them between the two teams," said Horner.

"Dany will be able to continue his development at Toro Rosso, in a team that he is familiar with, giving him the chance to regain his form and show his potential."

For Verstappen his elevation to Red Bull comes after a superb rookie season in 2015 when at 17 years old he became the youngest driver in the history of F1.

The son of Jos Verstappen, a teammate of German legend Michael Schumacher at Benetton in 1994, finished 12th in the world championship with 49 points.

His achievements were marked at December&39;s International Motoring Federation (FIA) awards ceremony when he stole the limelight from Lewis Hamilton, collecting the &39;Personality of the Year&39;, &39;Rookie of the Year&39; and &39;Action of the Year&39; awards. -- Additional reporting by eNCA / Busisiwe Lethole