Carlos Sainz looks set to stay at Toro Rosso for a third consecutive season in 2017.
Amid rumours of interest from Ferrari and Renault, it is believed Red Bull has decided to take up an option on the Spaniard’s contract that will keep him at the Faenza based junior team next year.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner indicated an announcement may be made “in the next few days”.
On the morning of Sunday’s race in Baku, Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost was asked about whether Sainz is staying for 2017 and he answered that it was Red Bull’s decision.
“I’m comfortable at Toro Rosso,” 21-year-old Sainz told Spanish television, “but we need to take a step forward to stop things like today from happening if we want to fight for fifth place in the constructors’ championship.”
He is referring not only to suspension problems that affected both himself and teammate Daniil Kvyat, but a range of issues for Toro Rosso at Baku.
“We had three very good races and for this weekend, for one reason or another, things did not go so well, but that doesn’t mean Austria will not be different,” said Sainz.
“It has not been my best weekend but the team has been doing a good job,” he added.
As for the rumours he is being retained by Red Bull for Toro Rosso in 2017, he responded: “Let the ones who will take the decisions do so. I have no choice but to wait while I continue doing everything I can from my side.
“Then we’ll see that in the end we have an agreement or not,” he said.
The team Toro Rosso is fighting against for fifth overall is Force India, whose Sergio Perez has been on the podium two times in the past three races.
“The truth is that Force India seems to be on another level, but we will keep fighting and learning,” said Sainz.