Max Verstappen apparently feels no guilt over driving in disgraced Kvyat’s stead. Not that we’re saying he should. We’d be dead chuffed too, were we in his position. Of course, Kvyat’s kind of set a low bar for him after the fiasco at Sochi, but this by no means signifies that Red Bull will go easy on him. However, even as he very prudently prepares himself for Barcelona at the Milton Keynes factory, he is adamant about not feeling the mounting pressure.
“I wouldn’t say there is more pressure, to be honest. Of course, I’m driving for a top team now, but in the end you always try to do your best which is what I try to always do. For me, I don’t feel pressure.”
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) May 1, 2016
It’s a good thing that he’s not quite shying away from the heat yet, as it seems like lots of people are pinning their hopes and dreams on him. Rumors are circulating that Red Bull jettisoned Kvyat just to keep Verstappen away from the clutches of the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari, who have been watching him extremely closely indeed. Martin Brundle would agree that Verstappen’s appointment was a savvy strategic move.
“I think it was the perfect chance for Red Bull to move him out of the way. They want to do something with Verstappen, they have to protect him, keep him in the Red Bull team moving forward.
“They know Mercedes want him, they know Ferrari will want him and other teams too. It’s a bit of a masterstroke from Red Bull, actually, as brutal as it looks for Kvyat.”
— Sky Sports F1 🏎 (@SkySportsF1) May 2, 2016
It’s certainly been a masterstroke of the guillotine for poor Daniil Kvyat. We can’t help but feel bad for the fellow after his public debacle, the scorn heaped on him from all sides and his very public replacement. You don’t last three seasons and end up on the podium being a rubbish driver, but he just happened to mess up exactly when he shouldn’t have. At the Toro Rosso, there are no second chances and young Verstappen would do well to remember that as well.