Russian racing driver Daniil Kvyat was demoted from Red Bull Racing to its sister team Toro Rosso, following the Russian Grand Prix where he collided with Sebastian Vettel twice. Initially, it seemed the decision regarding Kvyat's move was a direct result of his performance at Sochi, but Vettel told the press that wasn't the case.
"I don't think [Kvyat's move] has anything to do with what happened in Sochi," said Vettel, . As I learned, it has been decided already beforehand. I don't know what the reasons are for the swap, but I don't think it's related to Russia or in China."
Verstappen, who is F1's youngest driver ever, was previously rumored to take over Kvyat's seat at Red Bull next year, but he'll race with the team at next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
Vettel, who was forced out of the race by Kvyat's mistake in Russia, went to see Red Bull team principal Christian Horner after the accident, leading many to think he put pressure on the team. The Ferrari driver said Kvyat called him after the race to apologize, which Vettel appreciated. He still thinks the 22-year-old Kvyat has a bright future in F1.
"Generally, I think very highly of Daniil," said Vettel. "His raw speed is very, very high. Maybe the current formula doesn't suit him as well as others, but in terms of talent and raw speed he definitely deserves to be in Formula 1."
Besides the issues in Russia, Kvyat didn't have a great start to the F1 season this year, though he did place third in China.