Coulthard hails Verstappen promotion


F1 veteran David Coulthard has backed Red Bull’s controversial decision to oust Daniil Kvyat and replace him immediately with Max Verstappen.

The Scot, a former Red Bull driver and now respected commentator and broadcaster, said: “It makes for some excitement in formula one that of course everyone is talking about.

“So it’s good news,” Coulthard is quoted by De Telegraaf newspaper.

It is the very best news for Verstappen, even if some wonder that making a mid-season switch to a truly top team might be coming too soon for an 18-year-old.

“Max is ready for this opportunity,” Coulthard insisted. “He has the speed and the intelligence. I think Carlos Sainz is also ready, but you can’t put two drivers in one car.’

“It’s a great opportunity for Max but it doesn’t mean Carlos will not get a chance later this year. Or that Daniil Kvyat cannot come back. Things can change quickly,” said the former 13-time race winner.

Coulthard therefore rejected the theory that Red Bull has overstepped the mark with a particularly brutal move against Russian Kvyat, who returns to Toro Rosso.

“Actually,” he said, “all the Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers have contracts with the same employer.

“If you recall, when I started to drive for the team in 2005, at the wheel of the second car they constantly changed between Tonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien,” Coulthard is quoted by Russia’s Sportbox.

“So this has always been part of the Red Bull philosophy. It’s a company that likes to promote its young talent.

“You can understand how disappointed Daniil must be right now, but the most important thing for him is that he is still in formula one and the Red Bull family,” he added.