As Max Verstappen starts his Red Bull Racing journey ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko revealed that Daniil Kvyat was dropped due to the mounting pressure he was under.
Despite getting the only podium for the team so far this season, Marko criticized the performances of the Russian in 2016 and said that the move down to Toro Rosso will benefit him.
"It was primarily a measure to take away the pressure on Daniil, which was available this year," the Austrian told Motorsport-Total.com.
"He has not nearly the same performance as last year. He was an average of three to five tenths slower than [Daniel] Ricciardo. Last year he was at eye level.
"But what was much more difficult: He was very inconsistent, had many ups and downs. Sometimes it was good, as was seen in China, but he has put so much pressure on himself that these fluctuations come automatically.
"The crash in Sochi is a consequence of the internal pressure, which he has built himself, it did not come from us.
"Our luxury is that we have the ability to set him up at Toro Rosso again. Romain Grosjean was once in a similar situation and had crash after crash. We wanted to avoid that."
On another positive note, Marko added that the move will also ease tensions between Kvyat's new teammate Carlos Sainz and Verstappen, as the two have clashed in the past.
"On the other hand there was considerable unrest at Toro Rosso between Verstappen and Sainz," he continued.
"Thus we have internally resolved several problems and we have not removed Kvyat, but he is still with us in the squad. Toro Rosso is a good midfield team which has the potential, both on the car and driver side, which it must finally implement to be constantly in the points."