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GP Week : Issue 219
Pressure Beginning to mount Four races into his Red Bull career, Daniil Kvyat has thus far struggled with the weight of expectation. The young Russian was promoted to the senior team when news of Sebastian Vettel's defection to Ferrari broke during last year's Japanese Grand Prix, leaving him with big shoes to fill. Though there were others linked to the drive, Fernando Alonso for instance, Kvyat was the only driver in with a chance - to not choose one of its development drivers would have undermined it's driver programme, and with Kvyat having stood up well against Jean-Eric Vergne he was a shoe-in despite his inexperience. Fast forward to this season however and the story has thus far not proved a fairytale. The Red Bull has not been a particularly easy car to drive, with the Renault engine not helping things. Lump into that mix a smattering of unreliability and Kvyat's move into the team which dominated the sport not so long ago has been anything but smooth. Still, Kvyat hasn't performed at the level expected of a front running team. His spin in final practice was silly and compounded by his decision to let the car roll into the gravel where it became stuck. It was the sort of error that could have been forgiven last season but one Helmut Marko will not have looked on with much sympathy this time around. Meanwhile in the background both Toro Rosso drivers are showing well. Max Verstappen has stolen the headlines and Carlos Sainz is quietly getting on with the job and performing well. Though it's too early to speculate about what Red Bull might do with its abundance of drivers it will not have escaped Kvyat that the Austrian drinks company has a history of brutal – and typically career endind – decisions. The Red Bull heirarchy clearly believes in the 20-year-old. It's high time he began repaying that faith, but a 17th place in qualifying and ninth in the race still doesn't really cut it. ABOVE: Daniil Kvyat has failed to deliver the sorts of performances expected of a Red Bull driver so far in 2015... 21 GPWEEK.com // 21 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BAHRAIN PARTNERS: