Daniil Kvyat’s chances of keeping his seat at Toro Rosso next year appear to be growing.
Earlier, the disappointed Russian and his Red Bull paymasters looked destined to split, following Kvyat’s demotion to the secondary team.
But Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost sounds keen to keep the 22-year-old in 2017, and the ultimate decision-maker – Dr Helmut Marko – seems to agree.
Defending his decision to demote Kvyat, Marko told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “It was a win-win situation.
“As a team, you want the two best drivers in the best cars and we needed the championship points – the difference between third and fourth is about twenty million so that’s the easiest sponsor of all.
“The call to Kvyat was not fun, but I’m supposed to act in the interest of Red Bull. And afterwards it proved to be a correct decision.
“Verstappen has shown he can handle the pressure of a top team, and at Toro Rosso Kvyat is trying to recover now. He is more relaxed and open than in his time at Red Bull,” he said.
As for Kvyat’s chances of keeping that seat for 2017, Marko indicated it is possible.
“We want Toro Rosso to fight for fourth of fifth in the constructors’ championship, and that is only possible with two good drivers,” he said.
“We do not want a new driver just because he is new. We want a new driver if he has the potential in our eyes to win races. And at this time, I do not see someone else.
“So maybe this lineup will stay as it is now,” added Marko.