Amid rumours that Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat will be replaced by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen, Red Bull team Christian Horner has confirmed that the young Dutch driver will race for the Milton Keynes-based team in Spain next weekend.
As a result of Verstappen being promoted, the Russian will drop down to Red Bull’s sister team, Toro Rosso.
Horner added that it is an opportunity for both drivers to develop their skills, with Verstappen eager to show his potential and Kvyat looking to regain form.
“Max has proven to be an outstanding young talent. His performance at Toro Rosso has been impressive so far and we are pleased to give him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing,” Horner confirmed.
“We are in the unique position to have all four drivers across Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso under long term contracts with Red Bull, so we have the flexibility to move them between the two teams.
“Dany will be able to continue his development at Toro Rosso, in a team that he is familiar with, giving him the chance to regain his form and show his potential.”
— Red Bull Motorsports (@redbullmotors) May 5, 2016
Kvyat has been in indifferent form throughout the 2016 season, lagging behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at most races this season, even though he scored the team’s only podium of the campaign in China last month.
Recently, though, the young Russian has seemingly struggled with the pressure of racing for a top-level F1 team and has been involved in a number of high-profile incidents on the track.
In Shanghai, Kvyat made an opportunistic passing move on Sebastian Vettel – the man he replaced at Red Bull – going into the first corner, which resulted in the German colliding with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
While most observers felt that Kvyat didn’t do much wrong, the same cannot be said for his involvement in another crash with Vettel at his home track at Sochi last week.
Going into the second corner, Kvyat twice rammed into the back of Vettel in the space of a few seconds which ultimately led to Vettel retiring and a string of expletives from the four-time World Champion.
Verstappen, meanwhile, has expressed his delight at the opportunity to be driving for the senior team.
“The next step in my relatively short career so far, is an amazing opportunity,” the 18-year-old said in a statement published on his personal website.
“I really want to thank Red Bull Racing and Dr. Helmut Marko for the confidence they have in me. I’ll have the chance to learn a lot from the top team that is Red Bull Racing.
“I’m also looking forward to work with an experienced and proven team-mate like Daniel Ricciardo.
“I can’t thank all the people at Scuderia Toro Rosso enough for all their hard work.
“Everyone back at the factory in Faenza, and Franz Tost in particular, have made an amazing contribution to get me this far in my career. We’ve had an amazing time together.
“Together with Red Bull Racing we’ll do everything to prepare me as best as possible for my first laps in the RB12 Tag Heuer, next week in Barcelona, I cannot wait for that special moment.”
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