Unless something dramatically changes, Daniil Kvyat could quite possibly become the next driver to live and die by the Red Bull sword come the end of 2016.
A year-and-a-half ago Kvyat followed in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo as he was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing.
Fast forward to today and he is now also likely to follow Scott Speed, Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari and Jean-Eric Vergne in watching his F1 racing career peter out at Toro Rosso.
Kvyat’s confidence was shattered when, following a horrific Russian GP, he was dropped back down to Toro Rosso.
The Russian driver tried for stoic, and at times even bullish, despite being made to endure a press conference where the young pup who took his RB12 was sitting right next to him.
Heaping misery on misery, Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix on his debut.
Weeks later, and without any progress in his results, Kvyat has conceded that he is struggling.
Speaking in the wake of qualifying for the German GP where he was a lowly P19, he said: “I don’t know what I need. I just need a feeling with the car. I don’t have it at the moment.
“When it comes back it should be much better. I can’t remember the last time I had a good feeling with any car, so I don’t know what’s going on.
“It seems like my window of working is very narrow. I need to work on expanding on it, but it’s not easy.”
In fact it has been a downward spiral for the former GP3 champion.
Kvyat has been eclipsed by Carlos Sainz, who has scored 26 points to the Russian driver’s two.
As such instead of taking a break from the pressure and finding his form, it has only mounted on Kvyat’s shoulders, not helped by the knowledge that test driver and GP2 race winner Pierre Gasly is waiting in the wings.
This has led to reports in his home press that there is already an end date – one set in stone – to his time with the Red Bull family.
However, if that is not true, it can conceivably be said that unless Kvyat wraps his head around his struggles over the summer break and comes out fighting in Belgium, his Red Bull days – and his F1 career – could soon be over.