Cape Town - Former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer thinks Red Bull used Daniil Kvyat's tumultuous home race in Russia as justification to oust him.
At the Spanish GP, teen sensation Max Verstappen will take up his new place at the energy drink's premier team, with Kvyat relegated to Toro Rosso.
Too many incidents
Surer, a pundit for the German broadcaster Sky, said: "Such incidents at the start (as in Russia) can happen to anyone.
"It's racing. The trouble in this case was that there were two contacts. Otherwise no one would have got that excited about it. My feeling is that Red Bull was waiting for an incident and that it was long planned that Verstappen would be brought into the senior team.
Surer added: "There were other teams also interested in him (Max), so Red Bull probably only needed one excuse and Kvyat delivered it. He was a sacrificial pawn, I think."
Surer, however, says it is not all bad for Kvyat, as he has been given a second chance at the junior team Toro Rosso.
He said: "It's not all negative for him, after all he has been given a second chance at the moment at Toro Rosso who are a good team. Kvyat will have another chance to show what he can do.
"If he puts the Toro Rosso on the podium, he will re-establish himself, so overall the decision is fair - they didn't just throw him out."