Did Kvyat Purposely Maldonado Vettel In Russia? – Kunal's F1 Blog

Did Kvyat Purposely Maldonado Vettel In Russia?

Daniil Kvyat, what did you just do? Your ONE mistake in Russia made the inevitable most easy for Red Bull Racing. Let’s admit, Max Verstappen’s promotion was expected, but the key question was ‘how would they swap drivers without generating negative press?’ After all, they do have a ‘the more, the merrier’ problem.

Kvyat’s ‘Maldonado-ing’ of Vettel in Russia was strange – not just for the act itself, but the reactions it received from the Formula 1 Paddock. I wonder if ‘trial by media’ was the reason for Red Bull Racing’s harsh decision or was it Sebastian Vettel?

There was a photo of former Red Bull Racing and current Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel meeting the energy drinks funded team’s advisor, Helmut Marko. Did Marko seek Vettel’s advise on the Vettel-Kvyat swap? Did Vettel agree on the swap so that he saved himself the headache of the 18-year old being appointed his teammate? And finally, did the KGB spies at Sochi pick on this tip and inform Daniil Kvyat pre-race? I can’t imagine why else would Kvyat ram Vettel twice on the same lap!

My heart goes out to Kvyat though, podium to demotion in just a fortnight, but I think like few others, I shouldn’t be emotional about driver churn in Formula 1. However, I am surprised Bernie Ecclestone’s friend Vladimir Putin didn’t interfere in this decision already. Although if the Russian Premier still wants, he could start Kvyat his own Formula 1 team. This could also spark off a Russia vs. USA in Formula 1.

As we near the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, Toro Rosso will line up on the grid with two highly demotivated drivers in Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat. They join Fernando Alonso on this list, of course.

Kvyat’s Career Over?

Keeping history as reference, a Red Bull Racing driver once dropped from the energy drinks funded driver program has never managed to find a cockpit with another team on the grid? Can Kvyat break this jinx? This year’s ‘silly season’ could see vacant cockpits in Ferrari, Williams, Mclaren or even Mercedes.

What IF…

What if Daniil Kvyat took off a ‘less important’ driver?

What if Max Verstappen would’ve committed a similar error?

Mercedes – Sabotage Or Favouritism?

Lewis Hamilton’s back-to-back mechanical issues saw Mercedes be accused of sabotage. Luckily for the reigning World Champion, Bernie Ecclestone stepped in and offered to chartered plane to fly in a spare. Post race, Mercedes released a letter to ‘Lewis’ fans’ explaining the matter. Would Ecclestone have offered similar help had the issue hit Nico Rosberg? Also, why didn’t Mercedes release a similar letter when Rosberg suffered multiple mechanical issues with his car in 2014/15? Just some perspective before you scream ‘sabotage’ or ‘favouritism’.

Pastor Maldonado – Down But Not Out

The poster boy of ‘pay drivers’ was appointed to help Pirelli test their 2017 tyre compounds. Did the Venezuelan pay his way through this seat too? I think, Maldonado could also pay his way through to be appointed as Bernie Ecclestone’s successor. Any doubts Ecclestone would make a deal out of his departure too?

2017-2020 Power Unit Regulations

There’s cost reduction, which should please the ‘smaller’ teams and there’s the continuation of formula, which should please the manufacturers. The question is – how will the FIA enforce the ‘right to engine’ in a dysfunctional democracy called Formula 1?

Tune in to ‘Red Bull-sh*t!’!

(Season 2016, Episode 14)


The Inside Line F1 Podcast is hosted by Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah. This Formula One podcast offers a unique humourous view on the sport. Follow us on Facebook and on Google+Follow on Twitter: Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

2 comments On Did Kvyat Purposely Maldonado Vettel In Russia?

  • The Russian kid was back stabbed by Marko.. It started, most likely, well before Russia. Marko likes this 18 yr old spoiled brat crybaby. Maybe the kid reminds him of his dear little boy; Vettel? Crap is chit and this was a low move! It probably got moving quicker when crybaby Vettel went over and cried on Horner’s shoulder? It didn’t take long after that encounter for the kid to lose his ride!!! RBR has always been pretty low with their moves. They did it time after time with Webber! Vettel would crash into someone, even Webber, and would go crying to Horner and Marko and the next you know, they are building him a new car and using Webber’s parts when running low! Look at how they treated Webber in 2010.. He was winning big, then they started backing Vettel and everything changed! If the Russian kid is smart he will get out of RBR and get with a team that will stick a knife in his back! This kid, last season, finished higher than their #1, DR and even this season had more points than DR and had the only podium for RBR!! This move was about favors, money, dislike, and low class people..

    • Yes, RBR’s driver decisions have been questionable. But I guess, after the Spanish GP win, doubting the VES move wouldn’t hold merit. Although I do believe that KVY could’ve won that race for RBR too (or RIC, for that matter). However, KVY’s career does seem to be destroyed thanks to RBR and their ruthlessness. RIC could also be the new WEB in the RBR setup. The next few races and months will be interesting to track.

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