Daniil Kvyat looks set to remain at the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team in 2018 after Red Bull bosses indicated they would take up an option on his contract.
The Russian has four points from the first nine races of the season compared to team-mate Carlos Sainz’s haul of 29, but looked likely to score points in two of the four most recent races before retiring for reasons outside of his control.
Kvyat endured a tough Austrian Grand Prix, finishing last on the road after picking up a drivethrough penalty for triggering a first corner incident that involved Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen.
Despite saying he was unlikely to stay at Toro Rosso for a fourth season Sainz has been retained by for 2018, and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on Sunday that Kvyat was also likely to be confirmed for a further year.
When asked if Kvyat’s option had been taken up, Horner said: “Not yet but I cannot see a scenario where it won’t be.
“He has actually driven a pretty sensible season so far, so the likelihood is that it will be taken up in the relatively near future.”
That will likely mean Red Bull reserve Pierre Gasly will spend another year without a seat in Formula 1.
The lack of movement at Toro Rosso comes with Red Bull also having both Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen under contract for next year.
Rumours suggest that Ferrari has tried to lure Verstappen away, and speculation over the Austria weekend that the Dutchman had asked to leave his current team.
But Horner reiterated that Verstappen was going nowhere until at least 2020.
“It is total propaganda. Total rubbish,” said Horner, addressing those rumours.
“He (Verstappen) has a contract for 2019. Then after ’19 he’s on the open market.”