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Max Verstappen

Kvyat on Verstappen move: 'Marko wanted to switch drivers'

It is perhaps one of the most famous transfers in Formula 1 history: the switch between Max Verstappen and Danill Kvyat in 2016. The Russian looks back on that moment.

Daniil kvyat racingnews365
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When Max Verstappen started at Toro Rosso as a seventeen-year-old rookie, Danill Kvyat was driving for Red Bull.

The Russian finished above Daniel Ricciardo in the final standings in 2015, but was sidelined a year later after a series of incidents on track and lacklustre results.

A demotion back to Toro Rosso would see him compete in two more seasons for the outfit between 2019 and 2020, before he was dropped completely in favour of Yuki Tsunoda.

Although the swift exit from Red Bull came to many as a shock, Kvyat secretly had a premonition before the 2016 season even started.

"There was something going on," Kvyat told F1.com.

"Marko wanted to change drivers. Helmut stated that I had to beat Ricciardo pretty much every race. I responded with: 'okay, Daniel is not an idiot, but I will do my best, just like him'.

"The first races of 2016 were tough, but there was clear improvement. The Chinese Grand Prix is an example of that, but then came Sochi.... They obviously needed this, so that's how it goes sometimes."

Kvyat struggled with motivation problems

His forced exit from Red Bull knocked his confidence, as he became yet another driver in a long list of names that have failed to capitalise while at one of the fastest teams on the F1 grid.

"These were difficult times because my motivation was quite low when I returned to Toro Rosso. The car was different and had a different philosophy," said Kvyat.

"Carlos Sainz was very hungry and had a good feeling with the car. My confidence and will were just gone. You can't do anything against Carlos if you have such a mentality.

"I occasionally drove decent races, but it wasn't the best season. In 2017 things went a little better, but still not quite to my liking. I think Red Bull and I grew apart, so it was clear we needed a break. In 2018 the time came and I became a reserve and test driver at Ferrari. That's where I felt good. I honestly needed to just eat, train and sleep."

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