Despite a difficult 2017 Formula 1 season so far, it looks likely the Russian driver’s contract option will be taken up for next year
It appears Toro Rosso will continue with its current driver line-up for the 2018 F1 season, with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat getting another year at the Red Bull junior team.
Sainz said early in the Austrian GP weekend it would be unlikely he’d stay for a fourth campaign with Toro Rosso, if a Red Bull opening didn’t appear, and would be open to opportunities.
But Red Bull boss Christian Horner then responded by saying they’ve exercised his option and he is under contract at Toro Rosso for 2018, and Sainz then said the comments had been taken out of proportion.
Well, with one seat locked down, it looks like the second drive at STR has been secured too – Horner has said they’ll most likely take up Kvyat’s contract option for next season.
He hasn’t had a great time this year, with just four points scored (compared to Sainz’s 29), in part due to problems out of his contract. But he also smashed into Fernando Alonso on lap one in Austria and finished last, after a drive-through penalty.
Quoted by Autosport, when asked if Kvyat’s contract option had been taken up, he replied:
“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.”
Horner was also quick to rubbish a few rumours lingering at the Red Bull Ring that linked Max Verstappen to Ferrari, saying he’s under contract and going nowhere until after 2019.