Verstappen says no Toro Rosso demotion

  • 29 May 2018 10:52
  • comments 27
  • By: Jeroen Jonkers

Max Verstappen has denied claims his error-strewn 2018 season could result in his demotion to Toro Rosso.

The speculation hit a high point in the wake of the Monaco grand prix, when despite having a potentially pole and race-winning car, Verstappen crashed out in practice.

Every critic is now having his say, but some believe Dr Helmut Marko could decide to demote the young Dutchman from the senior team Red Bull Racing.

"I never had a conversation like that," former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport.

"But it will be 'How do we ensure this doesn't happen anymore?'

"Last year Max put the team under pressure with the reliability, and Daniel Ricciardo has refused to sign, saying 'Let the team prove itself first'. That's how it works. 

"But you also have to help each other through these moments," Doornbos said.

Doornbos does't, however, think Verstappen's seat at Red Bull is in doubt.

"Max's seat is not under pressure," Doornbos said. "There is only pressure to perform as he's missed a lot of chances this season, most painfully in Monaco."

Doornbos said Red Bull is lucky that, in Ricciardo, the team has a clear driver leader.

"They will never appoint a number 1 and number 2 -- that's not the DNA of Red Bull, even in the times of Sebastian Vettel. That's important for Max," he added.

Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov agrees that Verstappen's seat is not in doubt.

"While he is faster than most other drivers, he will not be expelled," he told Russia's Sport FM.

Verstappen himself told De Limburger newspaper that rumours about his return to Toro Rosso are not right.

Asked if it can even happen in theory, he insisted: "No, it cannot.

"A lot of these people - I call them 'keyboard warriors' - criticise me on the internet, because it's much easier to say it than in person."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner backed 20-year-old Verstappen to eventually succeed, agreeing that his age could be a factor.

"It's no secret that Max went to formula one very early, and he had to learn very quickly before the eyes of the whole world at the wheel of one of the best cars," he said.

"Most of the drivers out there made mistakes in the younger series, when no one paid any attention. So it's different for Max. I'm sure he will succeed," Horner added.

Replies (27)

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  • Kean

    Posts: 450

    Does anyone know how many times Kvyat messed up before he got demoted?

    • + 0
    • May 29 2018 - 11:20
    • Hombibi

      Posts: 137

      As we don't know contract details, does it matter?

      • + 0
      • May 29 2018 - 15:40
    • It matters, because its a good benchmark in how good Marko's patience is.

      • + 1
      • May 29 2018 - 17:08
    • Hombibi

      Posts: 137

      Than we need to know how Marko evaluated Kvyat's mistakes and Max's. As we don't know the number is pointless, therefore I'd say it still does not matter.

      • + 0
      • May 29 2018 - 17:48
    • But thats exactly why its relevant: we get insight into the mindbloggling mind of Marko.

      • + 0
      • May 29 2018 - 17:52
    • Quite clearly Kvyat never was Red Bull's chosen son. Verstappen was chosen to be the next Sebastian. I am not saying that he can't be demoted, but it would take a lot more than what has happened. Max is going through a really rough patch, but while he's been making many mistakes, there have also been flashes of brilliance.

      Furthermore he is a proven talent, a race winner. Yes, he has to recover soon, but pretty much every driver other than maybe Alonso has had a rough patch of a few races due to underperformance in the last 5 years. Max is a superstar, incredibly divisive as other superstars have been in the past. I'm certain that this stretch of 5 races will be merely a footnote in his career.

      • + 1
      • May 29 2018 - 22:50
  • To even suggest something like that is simply ridiculous. And where is this "Riccardo is the teamleader" BS coming from? The "teamleader" can only excel, when Max is making a mistake, or something happens to him. Otherwise he settles behind with questionable race pace.

    • + 1
    • May 29 2018 - 12:31
    • You just keep telling yourself that, lol

      "Excelling" in F1 is being fast and NOT making stupid mistakes. Max has every opportunity to show his speed and talent, and still Ricci is winning while Max is watching from the pits

      • + 2
      • May 29 2018 - 13:04
    • Points told the story last year and currently tell the same story this year. If you don't finish the race then you don't get points. Rather have the consistent high scoring finisher than an occassional high scoring liability.

      • + 1
      • May 29 2018 - 13:25
  • Freguz

    Posts: 158

    If Max crashes again in Canada, I think it's about time to swap with Gasly.

    • + 1
    • May 29 2018 - 14:24
    • While I do think Gasly would do well, I think it would be a mistake. Max has had about 5 very bad races, but he's still shown some flashes of brilliance. Sure, it doesn't matter if he crashes anyway. However, Max has a couple of seasons filled with highlights, a few wins, and several podiums to show for his talent. You don't just let a driver like that go because of a rough patch.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 00:51
    • Major Tom

      Posts: 148

      Gasly certainly appears good enough to merit a chance.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 23:39
  • Not yet, no, but if this continues.. Mind, its not the first time it happens for him in Monaco, so not surprised. He just isnt a Monaco kinda driver... Yet at least. But if it happens again in Canada, its clear something isnt right.

    • + 0
    • May 29 2018 - 17:09
  • Hombibi

    Posts: 137

    Maybe his weakness is street circuits in general: Macau, Baku, Monaco, and Melbourne have not been his best hunting grounds if I am right. But statistics are dangerous..

    • + 0
    • May 29 2018 - 17:55
    • My statistics teacher once said there were three great lies in this world: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics. :)

      • + 0
      • May 29 2018 - 19:52
    • Hombibi

      Posts: 137

      Mine said "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
      (Ok, I had to look that up..)

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 01:22
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      Any track without run-off areas isn't a Verstappen kind of track. His whole style of driving is built around the fact that when he makes mistakes, there's usually no consequences since there's nothing for him to hit on most modern tracks. In Monaco, there are walls rather than paved parking lots when he screws up or cuts corners.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 07:40
    • It will be interesting to see how he performs in Singapore, since its a very similar yet very different track.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 20:47
  • Kvyat was demotioned because his lack of speed. That’s not an issue with Max but I agree, he must stop making these misstakes for his own sake

    • + 0
    • May 29 2018 - 20:54
    • xoya

      Posts: 295

      Kvyat was demoted cause RedBull wanted Verstappen in that seat, and only because of that. Marko only needed an excuse and Kvyat gave it to him...

      • + 1
      • May 29 2018 - 23:10
  • FatMike

    Posts: 153

    I'm assuming that the main difference between kvyat and Verstappen is (disregarding driving skills) that Kvyat was still on his red bull junior contract. I'm fairly sure that Verstappens new contract made him an RV specific driver and there are clauses in that contract. I'm sure they couldn't demote him even if they wanted to. Knowing the Verstappens they will have that right down in the contract!

    • + 0
    • May 30 2018 - 08:41
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,033

      Interesting to see everyone's different point of view. I agree that Max has made mistakes this year that he should have avoided however that's how you learn. If you don't make mistakes than you don't progress period. With regards to driver style I would rather watch an attacking driver that brings excitement to the sport than watching someone who's afraid to overtake. Hence I would rather support the likes of Vettel and Verstappen even after their mistakes a it just brings more entertainment.

      Love or hate Verstappen he's great for the sport.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 11:18
    • Bhurt

      Posts: 320

      @BOUDY - certainly you do have a point. But drivers like that reach a point where their number of mistakes have to go down. If it doesn't, that driver will no longer be "good for the sport" and instead viewed in the same manner of a Maldonado or, more recently, Grosjean.

      • + 1
      • May 30 2018 - 13:04
    • When the business is hot, you can do nothing wrong. When the business is cold, you can do nothing right.

      • + 1
      • May 30 2018 - 16:36
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,033

      @BHURT - Agreed there is always an point negatives out way the positives. It's at that point when there could be an change. No-one is above this principle. However most world champions went through an similar phase that verstappen is going through, this is nothing to do with his driving style but more so with getting ready in order to challenge for an WC IMHO.

      The drivers/managers/teams will look at things to gain an advantage. This is both technical an non technical. Examples are: word play of Hamilton towards Ricciardo, Lauda on Verstappen, Horner towards Wolff all these are designed to destabilize and gain an advantage.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 16:53
    • Major Tom

      Posts: 148

      If he makes any more mistakes he will certainly risk eclipsing Grosjean as the most accident prone driver around. Personally I think he's good for the sport but he would be better still if he could limit himself to two or three mistakes per season.

      • + 0
      • May 30 2018 - 23:45
  • Major Tom

    Posts: 148

    Letting him drive the Torro Rosso would give an excellent insight into the the relative merits of the Renault and Honda engines!

    • + 0
    • May 30 2018 - 23:36

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