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Kvyat learned of Red Bull demotion while watching Game of Thrones

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Daniil Kvyat has revealed that he found out about his shock demotion from Red Bull to Toro Rosso for the Spanish Grand Prix while watching Game of Thrones.

For a series that is filled with drama and characters being bumped off when you least expect it, it’s incredibly fitting.

Was this ‘The Red Bull Wedding’?

Last week, Red Bull announced that Kvyat would be replaced by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen for the remainder of the season, with the Russian moving in the opposite direction.

Thursday’s FIA press conference proved to be a fascinating affair as Kvyat was joined by Verstappen and new teammate Toro Rosso Carlos Sainz Jr.

Predictably, the majority of the questions were directed towards Kvyat and Verstappen, but both handled themselves in an incredibly grown-up manner, showing a maturity greater than their collective 40 years.

Kvyat admitted that the news had come as a shock, but he chose to look on the bright side of the demotion, believing he still has a chance to prove himself with Toro Rosso.

“The decision was a bit of a shock also for myself, but it is what it is at the moment,” Kvyat said.

“I’ve always been giving my answers on the track and nothing will change.

“There are 17 races remaining. I come back to Toro Rosso, the team I raced for in 2017, the team I like a lot, the team that the last few days gave me a very warm welcome.

“The goals are clear for the team and myself. I’ll be pushing to the absolute limits on track and be giving my answers there.

“If you look at what happened three weeks ago, we were standing on the podium. Then suddenly there were a few decisions made around. I do my best possible now with the team I am with and that’s Toro Rosso.

“I’ve done everything correctly until now and nothing will change from my side.”

Kvyat said that he did not receive much of an explanation for the decision, and feels that using the word ‘dropped’ is unfair.

“There was no real explanation to be honest,” Kvyat said. “If the bosses want something to happen, they make it happen. Simple as that.

“I think the word ‘dropped’ is a bit heavy because I still get my chance from Red Bull in Toro Rosso. I think it’s a positive thing.

“Like I said, I feel like I’ve done everything for the time. I’ve been bringing the points, I’ve been bringing the development work. I think it’s a question for other people who made this decision. They can give a better answer for that.

“I really don’t see any reason. It’s a question for them.”

Kvyat then revealed that he received a phone call from Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko regarding the decision while he was watching Game of Thrones.

“I was laying on the sofa, I was watching a TV series,” Kvyat said. “Then a phone call comes saying ‘Well, we have some news for you.’

“I think it was about a 20 minute talk. I wanted to have a lot of explanation. I got to know many interesting details, but I’ll keep it to myself for now. Dr. Marko made the phone call.

“I went back to bed to finish my TV series. That’s all.”

Time will tell whether Kvyat can do a Jon Snow with his F1 career…

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.