Talk about an over reaction. Three days after Dany Kyvat inherited the role of Formula One villain after shunting Sebastian Vettel out of the Sochi Grand Prix on Sunday, the Russian has been dropped by Red Bull in favour of 18 year old Max Verstappen, with immediate effect.
As of the Spanish Grand Prix in ten days time, Verstappen will become Red Bull Racing's number two driver, whilst Kyvat will take the wheel of its sister team, Torro Rosso, a humiliating demotion and one that is unwarranted.
Two races ago, Kyvat had secured Red Bull its first and only podium of the season with an impressive drive in China. The two shunts with Vettel in Russia last weekend were wild, but surely a demotion is a step too far? If that were the case, we'd be seeing a driver reshuffle after every race.
The world of Formula One has reacted with dismay too, it seems. McLaren's Jenson Button has shared his reaction on Twitter, whilst Sky F1 commentator David Croft has suggested Red Bull were using the racing incident on Sunday as an excuse to ditch Kyvat and secure Verstappen for the long-term.
Crofty might not be too far away from the truth; 18 year old Verstappen is coveted goods. Ferrari have long been linked with the wonderkid, and by all accounts we're looking at a future World Champions. Red Bull have an eye on the regulation changes in 2017, when they expect to once again become a force at the front of the grid, and so they see Verstappen as a better option than Kyvat to take them back to the top.
Since 2014, Red Bull have spent a lot of effort trying to get Verstappen to commit to the team; finally, they have their excuse to promote him and get him on a long term deal. For Kyvat, the end may be nigh as far as his Formula One career goes. He'll see out the season at Torro Rosso (what kind of motivation he'll have remains to be seen) and the general consensus is that the team will drop him completely. He'll need to start finding another team now.
For us avid fans, its just another piece of drama that accompanies this already controversial season. Daniil Kyvat is no battering ram by any means- he's actually quite a gifted young driver-but we can only sit and wait for the fallout in Spain or elsewhere when his Torro Rosso approaches a Red Bull at the first corner. Popcorn at the ready...