Daniil Kvyat has been assured that his Formula 1 future with Red Bull is secure as long as the team makes the grid next season, says team boss Christian Horner.
Although Red Bull has options in its contract with Kvyat, the lack of confirmation about the Russian's future has prompted speculation that he could be replaced.
But speaking at the Mexican Grand Prix, after Kvyat finished fourth, Horner said that he had no doubts his current line-up would remain in place next year.
“Both drivers are under contract,” said Horner. “[Daniel] Ricciardo is fixed and all the options on Daniil are on our side. He is doing a great job, so as long as we are here, he will be in the car next year.”
When asked by Motorsport.com about why they had not officially announced Kvyat was staying, Horner said: “There is nothing to announce as he is under contract. He will be in the car 100 percent next year, if there is a car here.”
Soft gamble right
Although Kvyat lost third to Valtteri Bottas after a change to soft tyres under a safety car period, Horner believes his team made the right strategy call.
“The softs for us had better warm-up, and it was a bit quicker of the two tyres on our car,” he explained. “We knew we would be vulnerable at the restart having backed the whole pack right up.
“We needed to have as good a restart as we could, putting the soft tyres on. Kvyat got a pretty decent restart, as did Ricciardo, and at one point I thought we were going to have a go at Hamilton on the run down to Turn 1.
“But very quickly it became apparent that it wasn't going to be the case, and it was a free pass for Bottas.
“It is a great shame because prior to that, the advantage they had in Sector 1 we were able to negate in Sectors 2 and 3.
"And Daniil Kvyat, I think it was his best race this year. He was able to manage that gap and we were looking very solid for a podium.”