Max Verstappen not feeling pressure of Formula 1 promotion

Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso ahead of the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on March 31, 2016 i
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Max Verstappen insists that he is not feeling the heat of his sudden promotion to Red Bull's senior F1 team.

Max Verstappen has insisted that he is not feeling the heat of his sudden promotion to Red Bull's senior Formula 1 team.

That is despite the fact that Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's notorious driver manager, said that Russian Daniil Kvyat has been demoted because he was not coping with the pressure of trying to keep up with the on-form Daniel Ricciardo.

"I wouldn't say [it's] more pressure, to be honest. Of course I'm driving for a top team now, but in the end you always try to do your best," he told

"For me, I don't feel more pressure."

One interpretation is that the Verstappen camp - involving the 18-year-old's famous father Jos - actually pushed for the mid-season promotion, as a way to improve contractual terms amid the obvious interest of Ferrari and Mercedes.

"To be honest, I was always very happy at Red Bull," Verstappen insists. "I never saw reason to change and of course with this opportunity there is no reason to change so I'm happy to be here."

Less happy is 22-year-old Kvyat, who entered F1 as a teenager straight out of GP3 in 2014 and lasted just over one season at Red Bull's top team.

Marko said the Russian struggled with the pressure.

"There were not just two incidents that led us to this decision but also the rest of the races, where Kvyat was inconsistent," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He's suffering too much pressure and we believe sending him to Toro Rosso is the right move for him to regain the necessary peace of mind.

"He is a talented guy, still young and he will be able to rebuild. He is lucky because, thanks to the fact that we have two teams and we can rotate the drivers, we have not given him a kick in the pants that would mean the end of his adventure in F1."

The season continues with the Spanish Grand Prix on May 15.

Dr Helmut Marko looks on in the garage during practice for the Austria Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring on June 19, 2015
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