Gasly gets his chance, Kvyat gets another kicking

Pierre Gasly is to take over from Daniil Kvyat in the final races of the season, alongside Carlos Sainz. It is another hit for Kvyat, but the team says that he is staying in the Red Bull family, although one wonders why he would want to do that given what has been done to him in recent years.
“Scuderia Toro Rosso was established by Red Bull to bring youngsters from its Junior Programme into Formula 1 and that’s what we are doing by giving Pierre this chance,” says Franz Tost (or his speech writer, at least). “He is the next in line at Red Bull for this opportunity and he has shown that he deserves it, having taken the 2016 GP2 title and this year being very competitive in the Super Formula series in Japan. He really has a valid chance of winning the title, as he is only half a point behind the leader. The driver switch gives us an opportunity to make a more informed decision regarding our 2018 driver choices. For a variety of reasons, some of them due to technical problems, but others being mistakes of his own making, Daniil Kvyat has not really shown his true potential so far this year, which is why we are standing him down for the next races. This will give us the opportunity to evaluate Pierre on track during a proper race weekend.”
The chances are that Kvyat and Gasly will be with the team next year, as there are no more Red Bull juniors ready to move into F1 and the rest of those in the programme were long ago binned. Honda might like to have a youngster in the team, but none of the Japanese rising stars have a superlicence, although Gasly is in favour in Japan as he has done a good job for Honda in Super Formula this year. He could win the title in the weeks ahead.

100 thoughts on “Gasly gets his chance, Kvyat gets another kicking

  1. “For a variety of reasons, some of them due to technical problems, but others being mistakes of his own making, Daniil Kvyat has not really shown his true potential so far this year, which is why we are standing him down for the next races”

    Brutal press release about a 23 year old employee. F1 or otherwise that must be beyond acceptable standards of behaviour.

      1. I think people make too much of the sport stars are ordinary employees idea. They have parsed their words some what and not laid it on thick but with a public activity they would just look ridiculous saying anything other than they have said.

    1. Personally I’d find it harder being fed a line… I’d prefer the truth (however unpalatable). I would also guess it was toned down for the press release!

  2. To be fair he’s been a waste of space on the grid this year, he’s had more than his fair share of chances. It will be good to see the back of him and Palmer next year.

  3. I’ve often thought that the only reason they’ve got KVY still on the books is that they know they’d be hit with suit they couldn’t win if he left. He got a podium and was dropped from RBR the next race (lest VES go to Mercedes). Marko was saying things to all and sundry in an effort to mentally destroy KVY; they would have gone against workplace laws the world over…

    Even this press release is brutal.

    Makes you wonder if he’d be happier in Formula E.

          1. Yes, they are. Those cars aren’t anything but a promising formula. They’re simply boring in any case up to the whining gear noise they produce.

      1. On the other hand, given that he would potentially be leaving a team where the atmosphere can reportedly be quite nasty, in some ways it might prove to be a bit of a relief for him.

    1. It’s not brutal, it’s a fact. Compromising a press release with sugar painted ‘facts’ will not help DK to improve in any way. He’s had a lot of time and they’ve shown a lot of patience with his on track errors.

    1. F1 is a professional sport and is therefore a brutal business where results are everything. Red Bull are acting no differently to any other professional sports team in this regard.

    2. No. It’s a highly competition sports. Deliver results or you’re the wrong one. Step back into eFormula if you can’t stand that level.

  4. To be fair to RBR / TR, they have given Kvyat a second chance and he has pretty much blown it. I could even go as far as saying they have been kind to him. There is no way he would have done as well as Max in the top car so that had to happen. If you want to compare to Palmer, both have had their chance and on occasion have shown what they can do. Both have maybe been unlucky at some points. But the team owners will understand all this and ignore all the internet nonsense so if neither Kvyat or Palmer have an F1 seat next year, it will be for good reason and won’t be shared with us. If they do, the same applies.

      1. Can’t argue with that.

        Right now, he has fewer points on the board then Palmer, in spite of the fact that his team is beating Palmer’s in the Constructor’s. Not a good look.

  5. This would also help Danii as he is one mistake away from a race ban. However he shows pace during practice and qualify, but I cannot help but feel that if he does not get it right by now he will never get it right.

    I think he is lucky that RB does not have any more youngsters that qualify for the seat and maybe nationality plays a part but Helmut has send more talented drivers to the bin for far less.

    1. Perhaps the ban is one reason why he’s being benched. With Sainz potentially leaving the team, is KVY got a ban, Toro Rosso would find themselves needing to line up inexperienced drivers.

      Though maybe they’d bring in Palmer as a super-sub.

  6. Well so much for my thought of giving him the chance to be a team leader with a junior when SAI moves the Renault.

    How much pressure does this put on Gasly though. Does this mean he wont get a look in in 2018 if he doesn’t quite cut it now.

  7. Surely Nobuharu Matsushita has to be in with a chance of the second STR seat next year, especially given the team is using Honda power plants?

    1. Whilst not impossible, it is very unlikely that he can get a superlicence as he’s only 6th in Formula 2 right now (it would require a very strong final few races to give him a chance).

      That said, he could at least have a chance of securing a licence to test the car (the free practise licence requirements are not as restrictive) – so I think that there is a good chance that we’ll see him testing the car in practise sessions next year.

  8. I’d not realised how weak Red Bull’s junior program has become in recent years. No drivers in GP2 this year, although strangely two of their former juniors are.

  9. Hang on, Kvyat has had nearly four full season at Red Bull’s expense. That’s more than any other Red Bull driver in F1 who hasn’t won a race for the team, bar David Coulthard. What more do they owe him? He seems competent, but he still makes mistakes and his career has utterly flatlined. Red Bull should be bold at go for completely new line up.

  10. Am I right in thinking that Torro Rosso, believing Sainz was off to Renault immediately, signed Gasly up only to find out that Sainz wasn’t going and they now had 3 drivers signed up?

    Poor Daniil, promoted too soon, confidence and belief gone. Shame as before he moved to RB he looked to be a talent.

  11. As I understand it, Red Bull drivers are owned by a syndicate that puts up huge money to get a seat. Then they are paid off as the driver succeeds. So Daniil has been a bust for his backers, time to move on?

    1. Sort of an organised version on the Dr Palmer / Justin Wilson model?

      Or put another way, the same model recently outlawed in football?

    2. Not true for the driver I know who was on the programme. It is rumoured that Kvyat brings money with him from Russian backers though. Perhaps they’ve shown an interest in buying a shareholding in the team?

          1. That’s not a conflict of interest at all. You’d think they’d insert a decent gardening leave policy (say 1 full year) before a regulator can work for the regulated.

  12. On the one hand, I’m not surprised because the mercurial Russian just hasn’t been delivering on anything like a regular basis and Toro Rosso must have been very keen to evaluate Gasly in 2017 (ahead of the switch to Honda) if they were trying to get Sainz over to Renault early. On the other, I’d assumed Kvyat was only really re-signed as insurance against losing Sainz, so it’s perhaps surprising that they’re dropping him, now.

    In the absence of another compelling Red Bull junior driver on the horizon, my guess is that they’ll bring Kvyat back for Austin (so Gasly can drive in the Super Formula final) and then run the pair of them next year. Either that, or they’ll hold a special test to get Matsushita a super licence, but that means losing a test day in 2018 (I believe).

  13. Could I suggest they do something very bold and hire back either Brendon Hartley or Sebastian Buemi? Both are former Red Bull juniors. Both retain sponsorship from Red Bull. Both are still young (27 and 28). And both have matured greatly since their time as Red Bull cubs. Hartley is busy scouting around in the U.S. for a drive currently, after Porsche pulled the plug on its sportscar programme…

    1. No chance. Torro rosso, so far as I know, have never taken drivers they have shown the door back into F1. The may still have red bull sponsorship, but they just don’t. Besides, torro rosso as a team are used for bedding in their young driver for the senior team.

    2. Those are two excellent choices. Both have been fast in virtually everything they’ve driven. I often think the F1 teams discard some drivers too quickly.

      Didn’t know Porsche was out of the WEC. I guess when Audi pulled out it was just a matter of time.

  14. Not surprised he’d be having the drop if they had options… but it’s all a bit ruthless. Almost like us fans were in control. I would have thought he’d at least end the season.

    Pretty big statement of TR/RB when knowing Sainz won’t be there next year. You’d expect him to miss out a race here or there if it was only about testing Gasly in a Grand Prix.

  15. The best thing that Kvyat could do would be to get the hell away from Red Bull. Seeing him go from a podium and rattling Vettel to having his confidence destroyed in a couple of races last year was painful to watch, so heaven only knows the sort of anguish it’s caused him.

    Try sportscars, Indycars, Super Formula or even go back to Formula 2 Daniil. Get away from that lot. In the 70s, 80s and 90s Marlboro would provide sponsorship to young drivers who could take it with them from team to team but with Red Bull, it’s not so much sponsorship of a driver as ownership, with no thought given to the young guys who have been cast adrift in the junior formulae. I firmly believe that the reason Williams is presently struggling to fill its No. 1 seat for 2018 is because of the ridiculous structure of these junior driver endorsements.

    As soon as a driver gets kicked off the roster, as Vergne or Buemi were, where does that driver go? Manor? They couldn’t, as that was affiliated to Mercedes. Sauber? That’s Ferrari’s. Red Bull reflect the personality of their proprietor perfectly, given he recently launched the German-language equivalent of Breitbart.

    1. Drivers are paid and earn more than working in a bank, office or supermarket. Teams are businesses: they pay drivers and it’s not their responsibility to ensure they work after they are released. It’s harder to sign on for social benefits working in an office than after being even a lowly paid F1 driver.

  16. Kvyatt had looked decent, probably not top shelf, but capable of being a driver who could deliver podiums and wins and a decent lieutenant for Riccardio… until the Red Bull demotion. Since then he’s been a neutered dog. I was shocked he didn’t get dumped in the back half of last year, shocked again that he retained his seat for this year and shocked once more that it took this long for Red Bull to bench him now.

    It’s a shame because I liked him and liked the way he stood up to Vettel’s tantrum in China last year.

    До скорого, мой друг(

  17. Does this general lack of young drivers in the Red Bull programme indicate a natural winding down of the programme, bearing in mind that it appears to be Red Bulls intention to exit the sport come 2021?

  18. Is it possible that they contractually promised Gasly in the belief that Sainz would be moving to Renault immediately? Now that that isn’t happening, they are still obligated to put him in a seat.

    1. Personally, I don’t think Gasly had much leverage to insert any contractual obligations – “hey pay for my rides and give me a seat, or else….” what exactly?

      I think Gasly-Kvyat would’ve made sense so they can instantly measure both drivers but with Sainz staying they have no reason to keep Kvyat in the seat. He’s not exactly likely to score points…

  19. They don’t seem to be creating an atmosphere conducive to getting the best performance out of their drivers. It’s kind of sad how you’re career can be over at only 23.

    1. Yeah. I thought his apology to the team over radio the other week after he binned it sounded out of character, but that it was a sign he was growing up. Now I’m wondering if he knew what was coming.

  20. Does this mean Gasly is abandoning the Super Formula title? I understood that there were clashes between this and F1 later in the season.

  21. Surprised and delighted at the warmth and generosity of F1 supporters. Kvyatt has had every chance to join the ranks of the multi millionaires. No doubt he could still earn a crust driving top level sp

  22. if DK can hold on through 2018 there may be a seat for him somewhere.

    does anyone know if there are drivers who DO have a contract for 2019? Joe? anyone?

    this could be a fun new way to make f1 interesting. only 3 year contracts can be signed. every 3 years everyone is out of contract. if a driver want to move/is fired they/the replacement has to take on the remainder of the 3 years. haha.

    the driver market next year should be very entertaining!

  23. There comes a time when you have to look at what it means to be a man and being cuckolded twice means you have already left it too late. Tell them to stick it Kvyat and do it very publicly. I get the feeling Marko is doing this on purpose as he has developed nought but contempt for Kvyat and sees him as a whipping boy.

  24. Just a leftfield thought re TR for next season. Given that he’s done a stellar job post-F1, and that Helmut Marko now concedes letting him go was a mistake, could they give Buemi another chance?
    Or does he no longer fulfil the “young driver” brief? Surely it would make sense to have an experienced driver to help develop the Honda engine, and rehiring Kvyat after all this palaver would appear a very regressive step. His confidence in Red Bull, for one, will be shot to bits.

  25. This seems a logical step to take.
    They must suspect that Gasly will do a better job than Kvyatt has been doing, and if that proves to be the case then surely the decision will be vindicated.
    If on the other hand, he is outclassed by Sainz to a greater extent than DK has been, then they’re at least giving themselves the opportunity to discover that they need to look for other options for 2018.
    As money talks, there must be a good chance of Matsushita getting a drive as soon as he earns a superlicence, but your suggestion that Wehrlein might be another in the frame is interesting.

  26. No idea why Kvyat is still there- he’s a less exciting Russian Maldonado. Seemed to have potential but has lost it. Needs new scenery and STR needs a fresh driver. Why not Wehrlein?

  27. I think Kyvat is a nice guy and wish him no harm, however, Redbull paid for his junior seasons , got him to F1, and gave him opportunities few could only dream of. I can’t see how Red bull have been unkind to him, he could still have a fantastic career in motorsports. F1 is a tough business . Sink or swim

  28. I can’t shake the suspicion that Kvyat still has the car control and potential to become a very decent F1 driver (I can still remember some of his “saves”). Still only 23. I think he needs to get out of Red Bull at all costs. It is doing him more harm than good now. It’s a shame Williams need 25+ as I think he could flourish there, with a less acidic political situation. Perhaps some guidance form Grosjean’s counsellor could also help.

  29. It might be stating the obvious, but I think that it’s most likely that STR is bringing in Gasly not only to evaluate him in F1 race conditions against Sainz (particularly at Suzuka, since he knows the circuit), but also to give them more flexibility in their 2018 lineup choices. They will want driver continuity from 2017 to 2018 so that they can have better comparative feedback between the Renault and Honda power units, which without Gasly would have pretty much guaranteed Kvyat a 2018 seat. Now, if Gasly performs decently in the next few races, they can use him as their “reference” driver and then they have a lot more flexibility in choosing the other seat.

  30. Today even Dr. Marko was satisfied with Pierres performance and that says it all. It looks they did the right thing. There is a new generation on the way with Leclerc, Giovinazzi Gasly and Norris which I am eagerly looking forward to.

  31. Hi Joe

    Having watched Kvyat over he last few years one cannot help but think that his enthusiasm has caught up with him in a few occasions resulting incidents he would, I am sure, preferred to avoid. Perhaps his recent lack of progress has been due to a calming of his approach that still finds him getting into the odd spot of trouble with his style.

    I bow to to your vastly greater experience of the sport of course, but as a manager of people for over 40 years one comes to realise that some people are better suited to roles than others. It could be that Kvyat is just not cut out to be one if the top 22 drivers in the world. We all have to accept that there is always someone seeking to achieve their ambition at our expense.

    One can only assume that his team has done all it can mentally and physically to get Kvyat onto the right competitive space and that this has still not delivered the result they want for the future therefore they are looking to bring someone else through.

    Perhaps a break away from the lime light and sometime to reflect or even train harder might help him recover his spot.

    It’s always sad to see things like this happen but it could have been far more brutal.

    I hope this is a chance for him to breathe and grow but some how I think that the competition to drive in F1 is so great that this is the end of his F1 career. Similarly I believe Mr Palmer has also reached the end of his short F1 racing career although his contribution to a team in other aspects may well continue.

    Could it be that Mr Di Resta may be about to be called back to the fray after his recent substitutes performance that was a surprise even to himself. Perhaps his time out of a seat has given him an opportunity to learn more than perhaps he imagined and that is new found knowledge can help him gain a racing seat …. if he wants one.

    What we cannot ignore though is that after the end of Mr Hamiltons career there is no other F1 competitive British driver to support in the F1 field. This should be a grave concern to the UK racing industry and F1. The lack of a top British driver could impact in many ways across the entire F1 industry.

    Being an F1 driver is nothing like being an employee thisnis short – term contract work that is purely performance based. The result is that the end is usually far more brutal than this.

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