Tost: Kvyat deserves to be in F1


Over the years, despite the ups and downs of its teams, Red Bull has proved entirely consistent in one aspect of its operation; if you are perceived not to be operating at the highest level, you're out.

At times both Red Bull and Toro Rosso have appeared to operate a revolving door policy such were the driver comings and goings, with this year's firings and hirings at Faenza seemingly setting a new standard.

Such was the pace at which Daniil Kvyat was dropped in favour of Pierre Gasly and then returning to replace himself or was it Gasly, that even the dreaded grid penalty system lost track as Carlos Sainz headed to Renault and Brendon Hartley was brought back into the fold.

Having been given a 'second chance' following his dumping by Red Bull last season, Kvyat's time with the company eventually ran out shortly after the summer break as Toro Rosso finally ran out of patience.

However, speaking to the official F1 website, team boss Franz Tost insists that the Russian deserves a place on the F1 grid.

"I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed," says the Austrian. "He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn't show the potential that is within him.

"He was involved in many incidents," he continued, "but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn't help build up confidence.

"Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show. Maybe a short break, to get organized again, and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

"Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race," admits Tost. "The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred metres... success by any means! That puts you under pressure - unnecessary pressure - and that never works. I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1."

While the decision to drop Kvyat was probably inevitable, though most likely at season end, it was the recruitment of Brendon Hartley that really raised eyebrows, the Kiwi having learned for himself back in 2010 just how unforgiving Red Bull can be if the results are not forthcoming.

"Well, he was probably a bit immature when he was with us in the past," says Tost. "He was always fast, but somehow couldn't get it together - not for a whole season - but now he is back aged 28. And my guess is that something similar could happen to Daniil."

So, after the manic musical chairs of late 2017, for 2018, with Gasly and Hartley confirmed, there is a certain degree of stability.

"We see from other teams that to be successful a certain proportion of stability is crucial," admits Tost. "This is a luxury we hardly ever had - particularly not this season.

"To change two drivers during a season is hard to swallow, as it has a big impact on the performance of the team. But the switch of Carlos to Renault was part of our contractual situation: we had a valid contract with Renault for the next year and as compensation to get out of this contract we had to give them Carlos. You see it's once again true: you can't have everything in life!"

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Published: 11/12/2017
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