Daniil Kvyat said he was shocked to discover he was being replaced by Max Verstappen at Red Bull Racing.
The Russian stood on the podium at the Chinese Grand Prix in April - the team’s only top three finish of the season - but was dropped in favour of teenager Verstappen for the remainder of the season.
Kvyat was informed of the decision while he was at in Moscow by Dr Helmut Marko - Red Bull’s motorsport advisor.
Now back at Toro Rosso where he began his career in 2014, Kvyat was clearly frustrated by Red Bull’s decision when he faced the media ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, where he was sat next to his replacement.
But he vowed to do his talking out on track.
“The decision was a bit of a shock, but it is what it is,” Kvyat said. “I’ve always given my answers on the track, and I’ll continue to do that. I will try and give as loud an answer as I can.
“I was standing on the podium not long ago, but then a few decisions were made. There was no real explanation, if the bosses want something, they make it happen. The bosses made them and there’s nothing I can do but accept them. I’ve done everything correctly until now.
“We had about 20 minutes talk, and I wanted and I deserved to get some explanation. It was an interesting talk where I learned a lot of things, but I’ll keep them to myself for now.”
“In the first hours afterwards, you think about it a lot.
“I’m back at Toro Rosso, who I drove for in 2014, a team I like a lot and a team that has given me a warm welcome back. The atmosphere is very warm, the goals are very clear and I’ll be pushing the limits.”
Verstappen added: “It’s not up to me to decide who deserves what.
“I’m very happy with the chance they’ve given me, to race for a top team is always something I’ve wanted to do. It was a bigger risk for me to go to Toro Rosso so young, but I dealt with it well.”
Despite being dropped by Red Bull and sent to sister team Toro Rosso, who have never finished above their Tilbrook-based counterparts in 11 seasons, Kvyat didn’t feel team principal Christian Horner nor Dr Marko were blocking his career from progressing.
“To be honest, I don’t see it as a blocking, but there are a lot more positives to take now than people can see.
“I believe we can do a really good job. There will always be opportunities and something to fight for.”
As for his rivalry with Verstappen, Kvyat added: “It will be interesting to see who will work better and harder to bring results in for their teams. Let’s wait and see. The season is very long.”