Daniil Kvyat says the Red Bull hierarchy gave him no explanation for why he was dropped in favour of Max Verstappen.
“There was no real explanation, to be honest,” he told journalists during today’s FIA press conference.
“I think if the bosses want something to happen they just make it happen. Simple as that.”
Kvyat described how Red Bull’s Helmut Marko called him to break the news while he was watching Game of Thrones. “I was in Moscow, I was laying on the sofa watching a TV series.”
“And then the phone call comes, we have some news for you. And I think it was about 20 minutes’ talk, I wanted and I think I deserved to have a lot of explanation. I got to know many interesting details, I must say, but I think I’ll keep it for myself for now.”
Kvyat admitted the decision, which was announced last Thursday, came as “a bit of a shock for myself” but said he does not intend to change his approach after returning to Toro Rosso.
“I think I’ve always been giving my answers on the track and I think nothing will change,” he said. “I will try to give as loud answers as possible on the track.”
“There are 17 races remaining. I come back to Toro Rosso, the team which I raced for in 2014, the team I really like a lot, the team that I felt the last few days has given me a very warm welcome which I am very grateful for. Already now I can feel the atmosphere is very positive in the team. The goals are clear for the team and for myself and I’ll be pushing the absolute limits on the track and I’ll be giving my answers there.”
Kvyat said his demotion to Toro Rosso does not prove he was handed the opportunity to drive for Red Bull too soon in his career. “I don’t think so,” he said.
“Like I said if you look what happened three weeks ago or whatever I was standing on the podium. And then suddenly there was a few decisions made around.”
“But like I said the bosses make them and I have nothing other than accept them and do my best job possible now in the team I am with. I think it should be all OK but I think I’ve done everything correctly until now and nothing will change from my side.”
Returning to Toro Rosso does not necessarily mean his career has been “blocked”, Kvyat believes.
“Obviously first hours after [the decision] you’ve been thinking a lot,” he explained. “And then the work started, I go to the factory, I see Toro Rosso people which are very motivated, which are extremely hungry.”
“And to be honest I don’t see this as a ‘blocking’, but you have to take the most positive moments now. Because actually there are more positive moments now than anyone can imagine, I think. And I take it as a golden opportunity with Toro Rosso.”
“Like I said I really like the team, I really enjoyed working with them. Most of the people are the same. And I believe we can do a really good job. And then once a good job is done there is more opportunities to come. You always have opportunities, you always have something to fight for.”
2016 Russian Grand Prix
- Red Bull bosses gave me “no explanation” – Kvyat
- Another weak race shows Sochi is the new Valencia
- Magnussen beats grand slam Rosberg for Driver of the Weekend
- Kvyat axed by Red Bull, Verstappen takes his place for Spain
- 2016 Russian Grand Prix team radio transcript