Kvyat still under pressure

kvyat and ricciardo

Following winter testing, TJ13 reported that the new Russian recruit to the big bull team was under scrutiny. At times, he has a ‘Kimi streak’ and his simulator work was significantly inferior to that of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Danii has had a tough start to the season and maybe been handed an unfair share of Red Bull/Renault’s reliability problems.

Despite his best result of the season last time out in Monaco (P4), Kvyat is under renewed pressure from his old team boss Franz Tost

The team principal of Toro Rosso told Jonathan Noble, Daniil is a very high-skilled driver and of course I think one or another year at Toro Rosso would have helped him to be best possible way prepared for Red Bull”.

It’s hard not to draw the inference from Tost’s comment that Kvyat was not quite ready for the challenge he faces at Red Bull.

Franz suggests whilst a “high-skilled driver”, the Russian is suffering from a lack of mileage and is therefore struggling to set up the car properly.

“Nevertheless he is doing a reasonable job. It is not a problem of his driving style, his main problem was that he had so many technical failures he was not able to test the car because it was very unreliable”.

However, Tost believes the solution is simple. “I am convinced that if he can do enough laps, if he gets the confidence in the car and set-up and everything he will show a very good performance.”

Whilst the demeanour of Ricciardo and Kvyat may be chalk and cheese, Tost believes they have very similar characteristics. “Both of them are very focused. Both of them are hard workers and, if they get a good car, a competitive car with a competitive power unit, they can win races both of them.”

Kvyat has scored 17 points this year, whilst Max Verstappen has a paltry 6. The possibility of a mid-season driver change at Red Bull has receded for now, given that points on the board are what they need – not a spectacular young driver.

Red Bull are 29 points behind Williams at present and 31 points ahead of 5th place Sauber. So points on the board are crucial to the team and therefore the drivers’ futures.

With Canada up next, a circuit where power becomes important, the Red Bull drivers may have to accept that 4th and 5th in Monaco, is as good as it’s going to get for some while.

Williams should be resurgent in Montreal, and it will be interesting to see the battle of the big and little bulls rejoined. Toro Rosso have been pushing their elders rather hard this year, particularly in the Saturday one lap shootouts.

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23 responses to “Kvyat still under pressure

  1. Kvyat has been pretty unlucky with the reliability of his engine but he has made some silly mistakes too (losing a fp session because he let the car become beached after he spun the car and let it roll backwards while he was busy checking the car). Assuming his season will only become better the more he gets better accustomed to the car and the team I think he will be at Red Bull next year too. And don’t forget that if Red Bull does decide to dump him they are likely to put a driver in that has just as much experience as when Dani started at Red Bull and there is therefore not much more guarantee he will do better… 😉

  2. “It’s hard not to draw the inference from Tost’s comment that Kvyat was not quite ready for the challenge he faces at Red Bull.”

    All the more reason to push young Max into the Red Bull pool ASAP. Can’t see how this could go wrong…

    • ” his main problem was that he had so many technical failures he was not able to test the car because it was very unreliable”.

      Still recall how Daniil trashed RB’s only front wing on his first day of testing, and spent the day walking around with a broken nose. Must have been a bad idea…

      “The possibility of a mid-season driver change at Red Bull has receded for now, given that points on the board are what they need – not a spectacular young driver.”

      Oh, not so sure about that.

      Last year when making the big bulls driver choices, they ditched the no-brainer solution of promoting JEV to RB and give Kvyat one more season of training, and instead dropped JEV and promoted Kvyat. Last year, too, when deciding the little bulls line-up instead of taking Da Costa (or just about anyone else would have been just fine) and Sainz Jr and placing Verstappen in continued education in the lower ranks, they’ve promoted a 17-year-old with no driving license and racing experience to F1 (point of note: FIA, the regulator, allowed it). This year when RB were late with their production process in winter testing, they felt they needed to jerk around with the camouflage livery to attract eye-balls.

      Well, you see where this is going. Red Bull is all about PR exposure, however ridiculous and for whichever reasons, good or bad. If good Herr Marko feels Daniil is good for the chop, expect Mad Max to get thrown to the sharks and into the Red Bull hotseat…

      • ‘No racing experience’ – he has over 10 years experience in karting and single seaters? Undefeated until his 4th year.. to winning the most races last year in F3, a debut single seater season. 17 and no driving licence is irrelevant! He won FIA ‘action of the year’ last year for coming through the field at Imola..

        Marko raced F1 himself and knows that speed of improvement is the key marker of a future champion. Vergne is unlucky in that I think he would have suited the mid-00s F1 better than now. He’s like Jenson Button – supreme in the wet, but usually lacking some pace compared to Ricciardo/Hamilton in the dry. However, in the mid-00s, Button drove very well, winning a wet 2006 race.

        FWIW, I would also have liked to see Vergne in a Red Bull, Kvyat in a 3rd car and Sainz/Verstappen in the Toro Rosso. In RB, if it’s dry, Ricciardo is your man. If it’s wet, Vergne is your man.

        • “‘No racing experience’ – he has over 10 years experience in karting and single seaters?”

          Insofar experience in “real” racing cars, anything that resembles F1 cars from afar, he had only one paltry (incomplete) year. Yes, that does count as “No racing experience”.

          “17 and no driving licence is irrelevant!”

          In driving school you learn that it is your responsibility first and foremost to make sure you do not rear end the car in front, even if you’re very much quicker. Just because you’re quicker, doesn’t mean it’s your privilege to be in front. People should be getting in the top echelons of their craft by proving their worth year after year after year, and not simply because they had one hell of a pubescent growth spurt…

          So yes, age is relevant since he has very little life or racing experience, things (hopefully) needed in a man’s sport. Otherwise it ain’t the pinnacle of anything, but a mere kindergarten.

          And I very much stand by my surgeon analogy. If you wouldn’t mind getting operated on by a teenager, then you wouldn’t mind having young Max operate a monstrous killing machine. Otherwise…

          • landroni – I’ve admired many of your comments and some of your articles.

            But your comments denigrating karting as not providing racing experience is surprising and very ignorant. Karting remains a primary venue for drivers to learn the basics of the craft of racing to this day, and has since the days of Senna and before.

          • @Vortex Motio

            I’m not trying to denigrate karting, far from that. I’m pressing a point, and this means pushing some of the ideas to the extreme.

            “Karting remains a primary venue for drivers to learn the basics of the craft of racing to this day”

            Karting happens in very basic machinery. While you do learn things useful for handling an F1 car, the learning process is limited at best, and not all of it directly transferable. (E.g. Rear-ending another kart is unlikely to end up as spectacularly as it did in Monaco for young Max.) If we were to use education analogies, Karting would be kindergarten, perhaps high-school in real-life; you never tout your high-school experience when you’re being readied for performing a surgery, do you? And then he had one (unfinished) year as freshman in university, at which point he was promoted to performing live surgery. Skipping steps in this manner is generally not a very good idea.

            I wrote this in a different thread, but it’s very much relevant here:
            http://thejudge13.com/2015/05/29/video-the-fateful-radio-call-that-cost-hamilton-the-2015-monaco-gp/comment-page-1/#comment-144344
            Elevating Max Verstappen to F1 after an unfinished season in open-wheelers is akin to taking a brilliant first year undergrad student and placing them in the surgery room at the medical center in charge of a heart transplant, bypassing all of college, graduate work and medical practice. Can’t see how this could go wrong… But hey, Red Bull did get the eyeballs and attention they were eyeballing…

            ===
            It was extremely reckless for Red Bull to take someone so young and inexperienced (and both factors count and are important here) and put him in charge of operating these mobile killing machines for the simple purpose of generating as much publicity as you can for your brand. And if anyone still has doubts, let me reassure you: young Max is extremely inexperienced, whether you compare him to the current field of F1 rookies or to the historical average F1 rookie driver, and no amount of years in karting will change that. Most F1 drivers did karting and one season of open-wheelers; they also tended to stick to open-wheelers for 3-4 years at least before being bungee jumped into F1. And I for one am looking in horror at the prospect of that Spice Idiot Horner putting young Max in a Red Bull.

            Bottom line: If Max Verstappen really is THAT good, then keeping him at least for a 2nd and 3rd seasons in open-wheel racing would have done him a world of good, allowed him to develop consistency in his driving craft, learn what it takes to win a championship, learn how it feels when things don’t go your way, get his fair share of crashes far from the spotlights, and prove his worth against his peers before being jumped into F1. By the same token, it generally feels like a very bad idea for Max putting him on the front-line by a pair of reckless PR junkies. If he can’t get it together (and he might!), he may end up as bitter and out in the cold as Buemi…

          • landroni – “I’m not trying to denigrate karting, far from that.”

            And yet you’ve done it again.

            Ironically, I agree it would’ve been better for Max to do another season in junior formulas.

            Vague, long metaphors aren’t helping.

            I do hope you become more familiar with karting, candidly.

          • @Vortex Motio
            Karting is without a shred of doubt an experience-building affair. Yet it deals with the basics, and does not operate in the same league as lower open-wheel formulae. And doesn’t put youngsters under the same amount of pressure, stress, spotlight, responsibility, engineering involvement, etc., etc. You may be doing 15 years in karting and still not be anywhere close to be ready to perform competitively straight-away and on-the-spot in, say, GP2.

          • What about Button, Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa? All in F1 with less car experience. Schumi only had 2 more single seater races, Davidson barely much more.

            Driving school is not racing school – it always takes two to tango on a race track.

            ‘Proving your worth’.. is that paying for so many junior seasons ;)? It’s better to have meritocracy than a pay-driver fest, e.g. Stevens and Chilton.

            Man’s sport.. women need not apply? F1 cars aren’t killing machines.. for those, it’s killshots from 200m & Afghanistan like my sister!

          • “What about Button, Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa? All in F1 with less car experience. Schumi only had 2 more single seater races, Davidson barely much more.”

            Good points. 🙂 Your argument would be more compelling if someone took the trouble to compile some stats, though. Something along # seasons in karting and in open-wheel series.

            From F1Metrics I can see:
            https://f1metrics.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/2014-junior-driver-update/
            https://f1metrics.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/junior_table_2014c1.png?w=640

            Alonso – 2 seasons open-wheels
            Raikkonen – 2 seasons
            Button – 2 seasons
            Massa – 5 seasons

            Strangely Verstappen is being listed with 2, also…

          • Ah, that’s because he did the Florida winter series, placing top 3. ‘Season’ is basically, ‘series’; number of races might be a better count. Alonso & Raikkonen only in the mid-20s, and winning half of them!

          • Karting is probably closer in power/weight to F1 than F3.. but what’s happening now is more races in a shorter time period, hence age of joining is now possible younger than previous exceptions (e.g. Alonso, Vettel at 19).

            The surgeon analogy would be better served as he proved exceptional in his first few live surgeries, so was promoted quickly to the top – rather than continuing up the greasy pole for a few more years.

            Buemi was kept sweet – WEC, Formula E, RBR tester.. Alguersuari on the other hand.. he was sacrificed for Ricciardo. Same as Vergne for Verstappen.

            Kimi/Alonso did that amount of karting and then were in F1 25 races later ;).

  3. Can you please elaborate on ‘Kimi streak’?
    Is it (perceived) lazyness, lack of speech, lack of interest in promotional activities or too much interest in vodka?

  4. Should have been JEV in that redbull. He had the experience and could push ricciardo at times when they were in the same car. Being at Redbull may have meant he stepped up his game or showed what he could really do like Ricciardo did with them in 2014.

  5. Red Bull obviously demands a lot from its young drivers programme given what Vettel acheived. However you have to wonder if management is making a habit of blaming everything but the car – Renault or drivers. Would the Russian be under as much pressure if Red Bull were doing better?

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