Helmut Marko has revealed the call made to Daniil Kvyat to inform the Russian that he was being stood down from his duties at Red Bull Racing was not fun.
The move was made to promote Max Verstappen to partner Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull after the Russian Grand Prix, with Kvyat moving back to Scuderia Toro Rosso, just a race weekend after claiming a podium finish at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Red Bull advisor Marko believes the decision to switch Verstappen and Kvyat was the right move, feeling the two strongest drivers in the Red Bull programme are now in the team fighting at the front of the field.
“It was a win-win situation,” said Marko to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “As a team, you want the two best drivers in the best cars and we needed the championship points – the difference between third and fourth is about twenty million so that’s the easiest sponsor of all.
“The call to Kvyat was not fun, but I’m supposed to act in the interest of Red Bull. And afterwards it proved to be a correct decision.
“Verstappen has shown he can handle the pressure of a top team, and at Toro Rosso Kvyat is trying to recover now. He is more relaxed and open than in his time at Red Bull.”
Marko believes Kvyat is still in prime position to remain at Toro Rosso in 2017, feeling that there is no one coming through that would be a better option than the Russian.
“We want Toro Rosso to fight for fourth of fifth in the constructors’ championship, and that is only possible with two good drivers,” said Marko.
“We do not want a new driver just because he is new. We want a new driver if he has the potential in our eyes to win races. And at this time, I do not see someone else. So maybe this line-up will stay as it is now.”