By Daniel Wilson.
Red Bull’s recent decision to drop driver Daniil Kvyat has been played down by the team themselves, but has divided opinion around the paddock as to whether their actions were too harsh.
The Russian driver was dropped from the senior ranks following a disastrous home Grand Prix in Sochi last weekend.
After starting the race eighth, Kvyat ended up hitting the back of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari into Turn 2, and then again around Turn 3, ending Seb’s race.
And it wasn’t just that, the Russian was also the reason Red Bull failed to score points last Sunday after his accident saw him and teammate Daniel Ricciardo forced onto a slower race strategy – a day the team want to forget.
So, can we judge Daniil on one race alone or has this decision been a long time coming?
In his first year at Red Bull last year, the Russian was more than match for his teammate, finishing ahead of him in 10 of the 19 races and three points ahead in the final standings.
But this year has been a very different story. After another failed start in Australia, Kvyat has been largely outpaced by Ricciardo in the last three races. He finished seventh in Bahrain and as mentioned, was the cause of the chaos in Russia.
However, do the team have short memories? In China, Kvyat gave Red Bull their only podium of the season up to now, with a hard fought third place. Of course, he took advantage of the safety car and his teammate’s tyre blowout while leading.
And of course, there was controversy between him and Vettel in the pre-podium room surrounding Kvyat’s aggressive drive into turn one.
Red Bull just need to assure fans they aren’t being dictated to by their former drivers, as Vettel has had much to discuss recently when it comes to Daniil.
I, personally would’ve kept Kvyat until the end of the season. Of course, removing him paves the way for the talented Max Verstappen. But after some immature outbursts over team radio in Australia, only time will tell as to whether he is ready for the top job at Red Bull.