MAY 7, 2016
Wehrlein puzzled by Kvyat demotion
Daniil Kvyat's demotion is not the end of the world for the young Russian.
That is the view of Pascal Wehrlein, the reigning DTM champion who with Mercedes' strong backing stepped up to formula one this year.
But it is Red Bull's decision to demote Kvyat, swapping his seat with Max Verstappen who steps up from Toro Rosso, that is the buzz of the racing world this weekend.
At Spa for the world endurance championship round, former Red Bull driver Mark Webber said Dr Helmut Marko's call was "harsh".
"Helmut doesn't see that," the Australian, who never saw eye-to-eye with Marko, said.
"He just wants performance. He wants the fastest guys in the best scenario as quick as possible," Webber is quoted by the Telegraph.
Webber also thinks Marko has got the jump on the 2017 driver market, but elsewhere heads are being scratched.
"Honestly I can't really understand it," Wehrlein, who is a year younger than Kvyat and at the back of the grid with Manor, was quoted by Speed Week at Hockenheim for the 2016 DTM season opener.
"I think this has always been the philosophy of Red Bull but he was on the podium in the race before," he added.
"Maybe this takes away the pressure and maybe he did not cope well in the first four races, but he was still on the podium in China. So I don't quite understand it."
Wehrlein also said Kvyat should not be too down about his demotion.
"I think he is not going down so much with Toro Rosso," said the German. "They are still very competitive and extremely strong this year.
"For sure not as strong as Red Bull but on some tracks last year Toro Rosso was better. So I don't think it's too bad a place for him.
"He (Kvyat) also needs to do a good job now, because who knows what else will happen at the end of the season," Wehrlein added.