Daniil Kvyat’s move back to Scuderia Toro Rosso has solved two issues, according to Helmut Marko, the advisor to Red Bull Racing.
Marko believes the move away from Red Bull for Kvyat will help the young Russian relax so to concentrate on his own driving rather than trying to match the pace of Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, with the Austrian believing that Kvyat has been over-driving his RB12 this year in a bid to match Ricciardo.
Evidence, Marko believes, of this over-driving was the pair of first lap clashes with Scuderia Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel at Kvyat’s home Grand Prix in Sochi, that ended Vettel’s race and compromised the afternoons of both Kvyat and Ricciardo.
“It was primarily a measure to take away the pressure off Daniil,” said Marko to Motorsport-Total.com. “This year he has not been near the same performance as last year.
“He has been on average three to five tenths slower than Ricciardo. Last year he was at eye level. He has been very inconsistent, had many ups and downs, and the crash in Sochi was as a consequence of the internal pressure he had built himself. It did not come from us.
“Romain Grosjean was once in a similar situation when he had crash after crash. We wanted to avoid that, and our luxury is we have the ability to set him up for Toro Rosso again.”
Marko also believes that moving Max Verstappen into the Red Bull team in Kvyat’s place will ease the tension that has been building within the Toro Rosso team in recent races, with unrest building between the Dutchman and his Spanish team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.
“On the other hand there has been considerable unrest at Toro Rosso between Verstappen and Sainz, so we have solved several internal problems,” said Marko.
“And we have not removed Kvyat. He is still with us in the squad, and Toro Rosso is a good midfield team.”
Talking to Autobild, Marko revealed the decision to switch Kvyat and Verstappen was only made after the Russian Grand Prix, and revealed that the line-ups of both Red Bull and Toro Rosso could change again at the end of the season.
“The decision came only after Russia,” said Marko. “We wanted to take him out of the firing line and help his career instead of harming it. Kvyat has seen both halves. I do not see this as a demotion. The Toro Rosso is at a very good level this year.
“Max will have to match Daniel Ricciardo now, which won’t be easy. Daniel is extremely solid at the moment. At the end of the year the cars will be reshuffled again. It also means that Carlos Sainz has a chance to move up.”