It’s fair to say Dany Kvyat hasn’t had the greatest of weeks. The Russian driver was dropped from Red Bull Racing last week and rejoined Scuderia Toro Rosso in a straight swap with young gun Max Verstappen. Now Kvyat has spent the Spanish Grand Prix watching Verstappen take Red Bull’s first win in over a year whilst he scrambles around toward the back of the field, scrapping over a single point.
However things could get seriously worse for Kvyat as it now appears a move back to Red Bull is nonexistent, where do Kvyat’s career options extend past 2017? That’s the problem, they don’t. Because of Pierre Gasly.
Pierre Gasly is Red Bull Racing’s junior driver and is the next in line to a Red Bull/Toro Rosso drive as he competes in the 2016 GP2 series. The way the GP2 series works is that it favors an entry to Formula One because the reigning champion is not allowed to defend his title in the next season. This would mean if Gasly was to win the 2016 GP2 World Championship (which he currently leads), he would be need a drive in 2017, with the most logical answer being replacing Kvyat at Toro Rosso. If Gasly doesn’t win the GP2 series however, it will be an interesting decision whether or not to give Gasly what would become his third year in GP2 or just promote him anyway.
Toro Rosso has been a hard place to hold seat at since it’s inception because it’s only a feeding tube for Red Bull. Timing can simply be a factor of falling flat in this team and in this case it will likely effect Carlos Sainz as it looks as though there isn’t going to be a vacancy at Red Bull for a while. However if you aren’t a young gun with extremely promising talent, you won’t stay there for long.
Since it began in 2006, Toro Rosso has seen 10 drivers compete for the team. Only 4 of them have actually graduated to Red Bull after driving at Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat himself and most recently Max Verstappen. Sebastian Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne are the drivers that stayed at Toro Rosso the longest with 3 full seasons. Both are extremely talented with Buemi becoming the 2014 WEC champion, yet they couldn’t get further because Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were both driving gods at the time.
Daniil Kvyat hasn’t showed the ability to compete at the top level consistently and I think Red Bull can’t tolerate it. Pierre Gasly finished 8th in 2015 GP2 series with 3 podiums and currently leads the 2016 series after finishing 3rd and 2nd in the first two races. Look out Kvyat.