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Published: 08:50 | 5/5/16

Verstappen to replace Kvyat at Red Bull


Max Verstappen is to replace Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull with the Russian driver dropped to junior team Toro Rosso.

Kvyat endured a difficult weekend at the Russian Grand Prix when he hit Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel twice within two corners at the start. The first incident, which happened after he overbraked, resulted in Vettel hitting Kvyat's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, while he Ferrari ended up in the wall after the second.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko described it as a 'day of disaster' for the team and vowed to speak to Kvyat on the team's return home.

Following talks, Red Bull has taken the decision to promote Verstappen to the senior team with Kvyat set to race for Toro Rosso from the Spanish Grand Prix.

"Max has proven to be an outstanding young talent. His performance at Toro Rosso has been impressive so far and we are pleased to give him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing," team principal Christian Horner said.

"We are in the unique position to have all four drivers across Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso under long term contracts with Red Bull, so we have the flexibility to move them between the two teams.

"Dany will be able to continue his development at Toro Rosso, in a team that he is familiar with, giving him the chance to regain his form and show his potential."

Kvyat was promoted from Toro Rosso to replace Vettel in 2015 and went on to score more points that Ricciardo in his first season at Red Bull and scored the team's only podium finish of the season at the Chinese Grand Prix.

However, he clashed with Vettel after the race when the German accused Kvyat of making an aggressive move that resulted in the Ferrari driver colliding with his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Reacting to his promotion, Verstappen wrote on his personal website: "The next step in my relatively short career so far, is an amazing opportunity. I really want to thank Red Bull Racing and Dr. Helmut Marko for the confidence they have in me. I'll have the chance to learn a lot from the top team that is Red Bull Racing. I'm also looking forward to work with an experienced and proven team mate like Daniel Ricciardo.

"I can't thank all the people at Scuderia Toro Rosso enough for all their hard work. Everyone back at the factory in Faenza, and Franz Tost in particular, have made an amazing contribution to get me this far in my career. We've had an amazing time together."

"Together with Red Bull Racing we'll do everything to prepare me as best as possible for my first laps in the RB12 Tag Heuer, next week in Barcelona. I cannot wait for that special moment to happen."

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