‘You help Red Bull through their sh*ttiest times…then they get rid of you’

Sam Cooper
Helmut Marko smiling with Christian Horner. Austria July 2022.

Helmut Marko smiling with Christian Horner in the Red Bull garage. Austria July 2022.

Daniil Kvyat has continued his complaints against his former team Red Bull by accusing them of unceremoniously dumping him.

The Russian was demoted from the Red Bull seat back to Toro Rosso in 2016 as Max Verstappen stepped up to replace him.

The move proved a smart one with the Dutchman winning his first race with Red Bull and has occupied the seat ever since.

But for Kvyat it was the start of a downward spiral that saw him go from a driver at a top team to without a race seat in just over a year and a half.

Time has since passed with Kvyat eventually returning to F1 with AlphaTauri before moving into other series, but the 28-year-old has been reflecting back on his time with Red Bull.

Speaking to the Track Limits podcast, Kvyat accused the Milton Keynes outfit of getting rid of him even after he had helped them through their “sh*ttiest times.”

“From Toro Rosso to Red Bull, not easy of course,” he said. “It’s a different F1 team, the top and the midfield has a different mentality. Also very difficult times for the team. Everyone was very stressed. It was the opposite of now, now they have a dominant car at the time it was one of their worst cars.

“Christian [Horner] wasn’t happy. Helmut [Marko] wasn’t wasn’t happy. So they were difficult times at Red Bull.

“So to basically help them get through their sh*ttiest times and then they get rid of you… But whatever, it was still a great chapter.

“I saw how a top team works. The pressure is different there. Everything at stake is different and the politics are also very strong.”

Having come through the Red Bull driver academy, Kvyat worked closely with Marko and admitted their relationship did sour at the time of his departure.

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“He’s a big boss. He can be tough. I appreciate always his honesty. Sometimes, of course, I felt a bit betrayed by him.

“But, you know life happens. It’s normal. In the end it’s also business, you know? Relationship is good, still to this day, and no big issues [now].”

Kvyat also said that leaving Red Bull in that fashion left him with “zero motivation”, making it impossible for him to compete with the hungry Carlos Sainz in 2017.

“The truth is after 2016, I didn’t really want to be there [at Toro Rosso]. Zero motivation. I didn’t like working for them and every time I woke up, I was like, I have to go drive the car again with them. So it wasn’t very enjoyable at the time.

“In 2017, it was difficult because I had zero motivation and Carlos was extremely motivated. And then if you go with this mentality against a motivated Carlos, there’s no point.

“So for me I wish I had a chance with someone else in F1. Red Bull gave me a lot but since we had our issues, it was very difficult. And I didn’t have a lot of motivation to be there.”