The Verstappen-Kvyat Conundrum

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Anyone who follows F1 even in a small way will have heard the somewhat shocking news that Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat has been sent to RB’s little brother team Toro Rosso. Conversely Dutch wonder kid Max Verstappen has made the leap the other way to replace the Russian driver in the main Red Bull Team. This move is, as far as Red Bull are concerned, not a demotion and is simply designed to let Daniil take some time out of the intense pressure he has been putting himself under to keep up with team mate Ricciardo. Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said it was to help and not hinder his career as he may have been over driving the Red Bull car to beat his team mate. What ever the reason the fact remains we are seeing a mid season seat swap and that is very rare, and in these days of intense rules there are a few ramifications that need to be looked at.

What Happens to the Points?

In terms of driver points both drivers are keeping the points they have gained thus far. There was some debate about whether or not that was correct as Kvyat now has a slower car and is racing against different drivers but carries bigger points from when he had a faster car which could be deemed unfair on his new rivals.

The constructors points are also staying put which make a great deal of sense.

Tyre Allocation

Drivers have to choose what combination of tyres they want for each race a long time in advance and in this case the choices have been set for the next 5 races. This could have impacted on the success of the drivers as they will be running on the other drivers’ choices based on driving style. However, the main decision making process with tyre choice is down to car behaviour and not personal preference so hopefully there will be no issue.

Power

There is a very complex arrangement in place involving the use of the power unit as a whole, and its parts. A F1 power unit is broken into 6 parts and each part has a designated number of replacements. Without going into too much detail it seems Kvyat has used up more of his supply of replacements than the Dutchman and as such comes off rather well with the idea the numbers are related to the cars and not the driver. Verstappen gets the raw end of the deal moving to a car with less replacements available between him and a grid penalty however.

There are other factors involved like the staff the drivers will be working with and even the physical seats themselves. Max has already been to Milton Keynes for hit seat fitting and Daniil is due for his this week. Whatever the finer points are, this move will certainly make for great racing and there is no doubt people are excited to see what Verstappen can do in the RB12!

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