That Daniil Kvyat was eventually released from his Red Bull contract following the United States Grand Prix after a more than competent drive to 10th despite his understandably fragile state of mind was both surprising - he'd been called up for Austin's round after being unceremoniously benched for two grands prix - and unexpected. But expecting the unexpected seems to have become the Red Bull way in matters of driver treatment.
Consider the manner in which Kvyat has been treated over the years. With Red Bull support he successfully combined GP3 and Formula 3 in 2013, winning the Formula 1 support series but being ineligible for European F3 points due to late registration. The then-19-year-old was promoted to Red Bull's F1 junior squad Toro Rosso for 2014, where he performed competently to finish 15th in the championship with eight points.
At season's end he was promoted to the main squad as replacement for Red Bull Racing's departing four-time champion Sebastian Vettel - of whom more anon - who had discovered an 'out' clause in his contract.