Daniil Kvyat still has his supporters in formula one, despite being demoted by Red Bull after just four races in 2016. Igor Ermilin, the presidential advisor to the Russian automobile federation, called it the most "stupid decision I have ever seen in formula one". He told Russia's Sport Express: "It is surprising and incomprehensible and I do not see any reasonable argument to justify it."
Not all of Kvyat's backers are as emotional, however, as Russian driver Sergey Zlobin, involved with the SMP Racing programme, declared that Red Bull has the right to control its destiny in F1. "I do not have the right to discuss and condemn the actions of Red Bull and Dr Helmut Marko," he said. "They can do what they think is right and necessary within the team and its programme."
And Mika Salo, a former F1 driver who is now SMP's sporting director, said 22-year-old Kvyat must use the opportunity of being demoted to Toro Rosso as an opportunity. "Kvyat must now show that he can clearly beat Carlos Sainz. Then he is back in the game," Salo told the Finnish broadcaster MTV. "Then he has a chance to find a new team at the front," he added.
Ermilin agrees that Red Bull's move could eventually result in Kvyat - still highly rated and on the podium as recently as Shanghai - abandoning the outfit altogether. "I'm afraid that this may simply undermine Daniil's faith in the team," he said. "Everything is possible," said Ermilin. "In my opinion, he no longer has any moral obligations to Red Bull." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing