Kvyat’s new drive

F1 fans buzzing with the prospect of potentially seeing Max Verstappen in the lead Red Bull team (I still do not understand not why Sainz hasn’t been mentioned), an apparent seat swop with Red Bull black sheep Daniil Kvyat, but could Kvyat find a new home elsewhere?
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Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg’s SMP racing looks to be a potential new team in F1. SMP races in GP2 as a major sponsor of Sergey Sirotkin’s ART team along with ex F1 racer Vitaly Petrov in the LMP2 class prototypes. Petrov has already admitted “Although nothing is defined yet, we will perhaps one day be in F1.”

They also have had a big toe dip into F1 as a sponsor of the Renault F1 team which awarded Sirotkin his Friday practice seat in Sochi.

“Of course we want to have a team in formula one. We are doing everything for it, but not everything depends on us. So far, we are learning.” said Rotenberg on Wednesday last week,

“The SMP Racing project is our training ground,” Rotenberg explained. “We are slowly, step by step, preparing for F1.”

A major bank in Russia in the form of SMP racing with two bright young drivers from the motherland could well be a tasty prospect for Putin’s continued propaganda campaign of global prestige.

59 responses to “Kvyat’s new drive

    • Nothing wrong with a Lada 😉 my niva kicked butt in the fields and was the only car I could strip down with two spanners. Let’s just hope it’s not another dentists project as he has a habit of helping the Russian teams

      • Everything about the old Niva 4WD screamed “tractor” – rough but tough.

        Great features for the price:

        – diff locks
        – crazy thick paint
        – crank handle start
        – a cabin heater fit for Siberia
        – did I mention the diff locks?

        The standard tyres were rubbish on a sandy beach though. A quick upgrade to some nice fat bags and you were set to chase surf all day long. Great memories ☺

        But the engine was … err… down on power, just a bit. A great lugger, not a revver. This my original comment 😉

        • I put a fiat twin cam in my mud plugger,the old 1.6 finally gave up. One thing I don’t miss was the lack of power steering,the Muppet before me added a small steering wheel and boy was it heavy

  1. They’ll have to wait a while as dear Boris is one of the EU/US sanctioned individuals and unlikely to pass the due diligence test. Of course, he could put it in his son’s name instead although he may be a bit busy as a Dynamo Moscow first team player and lucky new owner of some of his dad’s other business interests. However as a Finnish national he is not subject to sanctions.

  2. Some of the lightweight news rehash sites are reporting that Max will be swapping seats with Danil from the Spanish GP onwards

    • Is Jontathan Noble from motorsport lightweihgt? Or is he a big name writing for a fluffy site – which some believe to be Bernie’s ‘new mouthpiece’?

      I tend to believe their ‘non-Bernie’ stories.

  3. If its true the drivers are being swapped then I think its a poor decision. Kvyat made one error of judgement at his home race, attempting to do well for his fans. Although he says his brakes locked for no reason. The second hit was as much Vettel’s fault as Kvyat’s. Vettel, Grosjean, Maldonado even Räikkönen have been known to have made errors of judgement in the past, but they were never swapped for another driver. I hope this is not all due to Vettel’s bleating.

    • TJ13 has been reporting rumours of Marko’s impending dropping of Kvyat even last year, which suggests that Kvyat has been put on death row even from Melbourne… His indiscretions against Vettel, the Styrian darling, and Vettel’s madman bleatings will have done Kvyat no good, me thinks.

    • “The second hit was as much Vettel’s fault as Kvyat’s”
      No Mike, it wasn’t. Vettel slowed because of a punctures Force India in front of him that was squirming across the track., if he doesn’t slow he potentially hits it. Hamilton slowed a similar amount seeing the same danger ahead – is he at fault for slowing too? Most of the cars behind also slowed. Not Mr Kvyat though, he was still in first lap banzai mode.

      Kvyats primary issue is that he’s not as fast as Ricciardo and the pressure of that alongside that from Marko has seen him resorting to what I’d describe as ‘all in’ moves. He was damn lucky Vettel didn’t turn in on him in China, I’m quite sure that Christian and Marko knew that. The fact he’s got out qualified by lesser machinery on a few occasions is the nail in the coffin. Whilst other drivers have made errors in F1 (actually all of them have!) many of them are made by guys who are really quick, Vettels errors were when he was winning races or dragging a Torro Rosso to podium positions, Grosjean obviously had speed and was unfairly blamed for some incidents, Pastor had big money to keep the team off his back and Kimi, his errors in his early days were tempered with the fact he was hammering his team mate. Kvyat is making errors without big money backing or beating his team mate. The result is not rocket science.

        • I didn’t say it was an error, it was perfectly legal etc, merely that China was a very risky move by Kvyat. It was much like Bottas on Hamilton in Bahrain, perhaps a bit silly for an opening lap of a long race? The guys who race at the front rarely make moves like that knowing full well they can end race weekends before you’ve got to T2.

          • Perhaps – but if you’re really that concerned about ‘all in’ moves, then Verstappen is hardly an improvement…

  4. I still do not understand not why Sainz hasn’t been mentioned

    I suspect that there is a plausible explanation for that. The Styrian Spice Boys have shown time and again that they’re ONLY for the SHOW, NOW, to make a HUGE SPLASH, and attract as MUCH ATTENTION with as HUGE a BILLBOARD as they can.

    Verstappen at 17 in F1 was just that. Verstappen at Red Bull two years later would be just that as well… This said, Verstappen and Sainz have been pretty evenly matched thus far, which would implicitly make Verstappen the one with the better long-term potential…

  5. one fast-tracked hype job replaced with another with 10x the temper tantrums.
    the red bullies has ruined more drivers careers than they have made.

    • I think we all need to take a bit of a breath and realise that the teams have mountain ranges worth of data and direct experience of these guys in all kinds of situations. Us fans out here watching only get to see them for a few hours on race weekends and hear a bit of what leaks out from behind closed doors – next to naff all really.

      JEV and DR were pretty evenly matched judging from the outside looking in, but DR got the gig. Sainz is doing pretty much as well as Chip by the same measures and yet no one is talking about Carlos advancing next year. There’s way too much money involved here for hasty or poormy thought out decisions.

      We all like to bag the team honchos but none of them are dumb and they have vastly more info to work with. Give them a bit of credit.

      For mine, Kvyat was always a stopgap, swung quickly into RBR with some hastily cobbled together BS PR fanfare to offset the embarassment of Seb dumping RB for the red team with zero notice. Who knows who well Daniil was ever really regarded at RBR?

      • That may all be true, but it used to be the case that a driver would have a whole season to prove themselves,
        Dropping a driver mid-season was reserved for illness/injury, repeated dangerous driving/racing infractions/crashes, or a large discrepancy between their performance and that of their teammate.
        I’m no fan of Kvyat, and think he needs to seriously up his game, but he should at least have the opportunity to make amends on track.
        Once again, the Red Bull management devalue the currencies of driver experience and sensible management.

        • I never got an answer to my question what it meant, but last year the judge wrote about Kvyat having a ‘Kimi streak’. I assumed it must be about vodka or laziness or both.

  6. “(I still do not understand not why Sainz hasn’t been mentioned)”

    O really? 🙂

    • Indeed, Paul.

      I feel that Verstappen will get some I’m-in-a-new-team leeway during his first 2-3 races, but not a lot. It is Red Bull after all.

      Ricciardo vs. Verstappen will be very interesting.

      Nationality BS aside, I think this is a big mistake for Verstappen and that Ricciardo will bury him. But I’m not a betting man, especially with regards to F1 where anything can eventuate.

      • I agree, I can see Danny Ric soundly beating him. Still it’ll be good to see, and now Max gets to properly race with some of the guys up front, which will be interesting in itself!

    • I think perhaps his view would be somewhat different had Kvyat hit him twice in the space a few hundred yards.

      • I meant ‘hmmmmm, I don’t know of I’m happy with that.’ Luckily Ricciardo beat Vettel, who is regarded as a top 3 driver. So that makes me guess Max is safe for this and next year, even of Ricciardo beats him.

        Maybe this isn’t about Kvyat. But about Ricciardo going to Ferrari. In that case, you want to know who to put next to Max, Sainz or Kvyat. Max was ‘the chosen one’ from day 1, right or wrong, but him going to Red Bull was going to happen.

        I hope 1,5 years were enough training compared to his dad – who stepped into a Briatore snakepit against a future 7 WDC.

  7. So going forward, would any young promising talent want to sign with RBR, seeing how they have treated likes of Jaimie, JEV and now the harsh treatment of Kvyat?

    -Was Seb’s visit to the RBR pitwall during the race, the straw that broke the camels back?

    -Was this decision to ward off any potential suitors or was this work of his dad?

    -Will Max be given the boot after a season if he fails to perform as expected?

    Given his age, time was always on his side. This is a massive call by both camps and for Max’s sake, lets hope it doesn’t backfire in his or his fathers face.

    • Why wouldn’t a young driver want to sign with RBR? If you’re as good as you think you are (and all young drivers think they are the best) then you get fast tracked to the sharp end. They all think they’re Seb or Dan or Chip, JEV who?

      The guys who are scared of RBR are the ones looking for a ‘career’ as a driver in F1 or the ones who aren’t ready to test their talent at the highest level yet. Do we really want those guys in the sport?

      Besides, now that all the big teams have academies up and running properly, there’s going to be an endless procession of hard luck stories from their feeder teams. There just isn’t room for everyone, particularly those that aren’t ever going to be anything except a journeyman.

      RBR was just the first team to explicitly and shamelessly ram their talent through the filter of a junior team.

      • Fair enough. I’m just looking at it from the perspective of the ruthless nature of the team, of getting rid of drivers within a short period of time, even if their performances have been quite good.

        I know Kvyat has had some shocking races, but he’s the man that beat the man at RBR, he has scored their only podium of the season so, which could probably the teams only one. The nature of this move was rather unpleasant in my book and i think they could’ve done so come the end of the season, when everyone pretty much knew he was going to be replaced anyways.

        • Yh, I get your angle but I reckon that the kids that RBR are looking for see the team’s ruthlessness as a good thing because it gets lesser mortals out of their way to the top step more quickly.

          We’re talking about some of the most confident, egotistical, c0cksure kids on the planet, often surrounded by people for whom the terms “obsequious runt” and “grovelling sycophant” were coined.

    • -Was Seb’s visit to the RBR pitwall during the race, the straw that broke the camels back?
      Nope, the straw that broke the camels back was the incident costing Ricciardo as well. I really don’t think Vettel holds any sway with Horner and co nowadays.

      -Was this decision to ward off any potential suitors or was this work of his dad?
      Yes, without question. The Russian GP gave Marko the excuse he was after!

      -Will Max be given the boot after a season if he fails to perform as expected?
      I think if DR is easily beating him then come the end of the year then they’ll have to consider ditching him. The Red Bull policy is only interested in finding the next Ricciardo or Vettel, not the next Perez or Bottas. It’s damn harsh on some of these young lads, but F1 is the top top drawer of motorsport, only the best (or those with huge sponsorship) can survive.

      • It definitely wasn’t, but it probably played a part. Helmut was probably looking for a way to get rid of Kvyat and that incident was the perfect opening for him to do so.

        Danil is not that bad a driver and like i pointed out in another comment, he did get the better of their current star man, Ricciardo last year.

    • The answer is absolutely yes. First of all, you need to recall that junior drivers sign up not for the Toro Rosso team, but for the junior program. The likes of JEV, Buemi, Kvyat had spent YEARS in junior formula series thanks for Red Bull cash. In many cases, those who don’t sign up for such a program will not get to race even in “baby” formula series. And some former “graduates” of the Red Bull academy are not doing so bad. Buemi is a factory driver for Toyota in WEC (2014 constructor winner) and for Prost in Formula E (a runner up for title in the inaugural season). Vergne is racing in Formula E. Aleshin is racing in IndyCar.

  8. News on twitter that there was a reported huge bust up between Franz Tost and the Verstappen. Coincidence?

    • “the huge bust-up” was between Tost and the engineering staff over qualifying in Sochi.

  9. Sad news for Kvyat, but he never seemed like Plan A for the senior team, and certainly was on borrowed time until Max got the job at some point, they’ve been saying since day 1 how Max was better in the sim etc.

    Doubt very much the Russia bumper car episode was behind the actual decision, seemed more like opportunistic timing than anything for Red Bull (hard to make the switch after a podium really). If they were so strict with the drivers then I doubt they’d be promoting Max just a few races after he spoiled his own race by pitting unannounced, then tried his best to ruin the teams race by hitting his teammate as well!! Ultimately, they think Max is better, hence the move. Its hard to argue with that. Max has clearly shown more potential than Kvyat to date, so I’ve no argument really on the switch from a performance point of view – Kvyat’s podium a few weeks back notwithstanding – after all, does anyone believe Max would not have achieved that as well? For me I have to say Max has driven (cranky first race aside) beautifully this year.

    Anyway, while I like Kvyat, he was rushed up for me and still needs time before he’s ready for that seat, at least he still has (for now) a drive and can still try to improve/impress to earn a seat next year (someone besides the good doctor anyway – I doubt he is for turning!!). Funnily enough if we consider Kvyat a dead man walking at Torro Rosso then Sainz might even be a winner in this despite staying put, it might guarantee him a 3rd year at Torro Rosso (but then again, whats the use of a 3rd year….JEV outscored Danii and was passed up for the promotion…seems to me the Doctor is not the type to ever admit a mistake and would rather promote Kvyat than JEV regardless of how that season went?).

    Looking forward to seeing Max mix it up with Ricciardo, that battle alone should provide plenty of excitement for fans even if the Bulls can’t drag themselves to the front, and if they can, oh what fun it will be to see Max fighting with the likes of Seb/Lewis/Nico, it will make a nice complication for the championship battle I think.

  10. Well that wasn’t expected was it😱 I do admire Redbulls commitment to the sport but they really don’t give their drivers a proper chance to improve,the pressure on those drivers must be huge! They have so much promo work and such for some pretty poor pay,in f1 terms,even the old YTS scheme gave a trainee 3yrs but here is the thing…f1 isn’t a training school,that’s the job of the lower formula or it should be. We will now see if Max can fly or if he will be a petulant youth with his dad’s car keys..I see some fireworks as he may try to prove his worth.

    • It will be interesting to see how Max fairs up with Ricciardo.
      Also looking forward to see Kyvat against Sainz.
      Who will prove what to whom?

      • It would serve Red Bull right if they had, for instance, some engine issues for the rest of the season, whilst Toro Rosso had a dream season, and Kvyat and Sainz ended up outscoring Ricciardo and Verstappen.

        • Yes it would serve Red Bull right! I wonder if there is any scope for Ferrari to make some mischief by improving the power output of those 2015 units in the Torro Rosso? I also feel sorry for Christian Horner who I consider to be a fair minded sort of chap who probably will not approve of the swap. He will be forced to keep his mouth shut, lie back and think of Eng… I mean Austria!

          • I don’t know the answer to that one,I know Manor ran an outdated unit last year but didn’t receive any update but this could have just been down to funds, I would have thought that the power train was developed to the max and then shelved as the 2015 model is now redundant and 2016 has so many new parts that won’t be compatible…but… There will be bits that could be used

          • year old power unit and power units that has been superseded by an upgraded by performance upgrade tokens cannot be used unless with a special dispensation, and if given the go-ahead to be used (supplied) they cannot be improved upon performance wise, when it was suggested on here that FERRARI will be able to make use of 64 performance token this year (2015 and 2016 power unit” it was total BS by people that pretend to know how F1 rules work.

          • Have you swallowed the suggestion on here of the possibility of FERRARI using 64 performance development tokens this year?

      • Carlos Jr seems to have a more level head on him,Max IMHO has the potential to be good but he does seem to carry a lot of baggage. Kyvat now has a lot to prove,its going to be a make or break situation for the guy and given his previous form with pressure I can see some banzai moves heading mid field. Torro seem to have a sorted car but sadly the 2015 power unit is just that, a year out of sell by so who knows? It’s going to be fun watching the torro team overtake the Redbulls😇

    • @Oddball
      “I do admire Redbulls commitment to the sport”

      Red Bull’s commitment to F1 (or any other sport that they’re involved in, for the matter) is zero. Their only commitment is towards aggressively promoting their brand and selling cannisters of sugary drinks. Red Bull’s body language in a number of incidents (F1 and elsewhere) shows a severe lack of conscience in top-management and a general commitment to sociopathic behavior…

    • The point of the Red Bull’s junior program is not in giving a super-fair super-generous chance to every member of the program. They’re simply looking for the likes of the next Vettel or Hamilton. These two guys came into F1, and just after one full-time season, they were already in a position where they don’t need a second chance… They identified and retained Vettel and Ricciardo, so that’s good enough for them. After all, you don’t fine a diamond in a rough every year.

  11. So Kvyat beat the man who beat the man and still found him surplus to requirements…hmmmm ok.

    These final 17 races is nothing more than his farewell tour, i doubt he will retain his seat come seasons end. Could see him either at Renault or (this maybe controversial) Force India as a replacement for Hulkenberg. Lets be honest, he has been touted about as a very good driver, but this is his 7th season and he has yet to score a single podium.

  12. Do you think they put Verstappen in the car for fun? They have all the data to compare and they simply know that Vestappen is faster and more consistent ( we are talking about millions of price money ) they just think they have a better chance with Max behind the wheel.

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