Daniil Kvyat admits he ‘felt really betrayed’ by Red Bull with Max Verstappen decision

Daniil Kvyat's last F1 appearance was for AlphaTauri in 2020.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat has revealed that he “felt really betrayed” and “stabbed in the back” by Red Bull ahead of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, with that having been the event where he was replaced by Max Verstappen.

Despite having claimed a podium at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, Red Bull made the sudden decision to demote Kvyat back to Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri), with Verstappen having been promoted into the Austrian side.

Kvyat was demoted due to poor results and incidents, with Sebastian Vettel having given the Russian driver the nickname “the Torpedo”.

Verstappen, of course, actually won his maiden race for Red Bull in Spain, with history having proven that it was the correct decision by the Milton Keynes-based team.

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“I felt really betrayed at that moment,” Kvyat told the Track Limits podcast.

“It was a stab in the back and that’s life, you get stabbed in the back sometimes you know, it’s normal.

“Now it’s the past. I have another good career in racing so part of me of course is very thankful to Red Bull. The other part of me is still very unhappy with it.”

Kvyat made the initial switch from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in 2015 after Vettel moved to Ferrari, with the Russian having actually finished ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the Drivers’ Championship.

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After he was demoted back to the Faenza-based team, Kvyat continued to underperform, with him having been dropped in 2018, before he was brought back into the team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

2020 was his last F1 season to-date, with him now competing in the World Endurance Championship for Prema Racing.

Kvyat is also set to take part in next Monday’s Formula E Rookie Test in Berlin, where he’ll be driving for NIO 333 Racing.

Staggeringly, everything could be so different for the Russian, had he accepted a shock move to Ferrari before he was dropped by Red Bull.

Kvyat was supposedly offered a seat at Ferrari after he claimed a podium at the 2016 Chinese GP, with the Italians having wanted him to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

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The 28-year-old ultimately rejected the move after wanting to remain at Red Bull, something which perhaps he may look back on with regret.

“I was performing really well,” Kvyat said. “And I just scored another podium for the team [at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix] and then at the time I had also a proposal to race for Ferrari to replace Kimi. That was going on behind the curtain.

“So it was a very difficult situation also for me mentally to go back from being wanted by Ferrari and having seen the contract and then you go back to Toro Rosso suddenly and then you’re like, it’s not going very well suddenly.”