Daniil Kvyat is adamant he would have out-performed Daniel Ricciardo in 2016 had Red Bull kept faith in him.
Kvyat was demoted from Red Bull to their sister team Toro Rosso after the Russian Grand Prix, where he collided with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the start of May.
Promising teenager Max Verstappen, 18, went in the opposite direction and made history by becoming the youngest ever driver to win a Formula One race in Barcelona in his first appearance for the team.
Kvyat finished three points above Ricciardo in the F1 drivers' standings last season - his first after being initially promoted from Toro Rosso - and the Russian believes he could have done it again if Red Bull had kept him in the seat.
"The circumstances in which I approached Red Bull Racing [were that] the car was worse than the last year," the 22-year-old told Autosport.
"It is easy for first year drivers at the time to look amazing.
"I believe the circumstances back then were not favourable but then they started to get better and better.
"The second half of the season for me at Red Bull Racing [in 2015], it was good, stable.
"I was matching and beating Daniel, I scored more points than Daniel and it would have been the same this year again.
"All the things about a 'too early' approach are bulls***."
Kvyat, who finished third at the Chinese GP a month ago, believes he did nothing wrong to deserve to be demoted.
"I was performing more than enough well," Kvyat added. "I brought them the first podium of the year. Our pace was getting better and better. They got what they expected from me. That is all I can really say.
"So I think I did everything right, absolutely everything right."