AlphaTauri: Red Bull demotions don't reflect fairly on Kvyat & Gasly

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AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has full confidence in his drivers despite both having been demoted from Red Bull in their careers.

It was back in 2016 when Daniil Kvyat became the first to make the backwards step, having been replaced by Max Verstappen after his home race in Sochi.

Three years later, Pierre Gasly became the second to make the same step after struggling to match Verstappen in his first 13 races at the senior team.

However, coming to the defence of his drivers, Tost noted how both had been promoted through necessity.

“We actually had no choice with either of them,” he was quoted as telling Formel Austria.

“In the case of Daniil, Sebastian Vettel left for Ferrari so he [Kvyat] had to make the move to Red Bull.

“But he only had one season in Formula 1 behind him and he also came to the championship directly from GP3 and this is already a huge challenge.

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“Kvyat performed well. If you look at pure, natural speed, you will see that Kvyat was often faster than [Daniel] Ricciardo.

“He is very, very fast, just the circumstances at Red Bull Racing did not work out.

“In my opinion, the transition to Red Bull happened quite early for them. It was similar for Pierre," Tost added.

“The start of the season was not easy for him, he got into accidents and as a result failed to show his true speed.

“But we are very pleased with both of our drivers.”

Earlier this week, AlphaTauri returned to the track at Imola for a test day, as they adapted to the new measures being used to limit the risk from Covid-19.

The outing also gave their drivers a chance to shake some rust after the extended break, and Gasly admits it was very much worth waking up for.

“I was really happy to be back on track after such a long wait,” said the Frenchman.

“I had really missed that feeling you get from driving so it was incredible to be back in the STR13 and the AT01.

“We had a really smooth day, doing some laps in both cars. I woke up this morning feeling excited and happy and I will fall asleep tonight in the same mood.

“It was also special to drive a Formula 1 car at Imola, which is one of my favourite tracks. I think we are now ready for Austria.”