Kvyat joins con­test for Wil­liams slot

Autosport (UK) - - PIT + PADDOCK - ADAM COOPER AND LAWRENCE BARRETTO

DROPPED TORO ROSSO DRIVER DANIIL

Kvyat has joined the list of can­di­dates for the 2018 Wil­liams seat along­side Lance Stroll.

Kvyat, who started 15 grands prix for Toro Rosso this sea­son, was told by Red Bull mo­tor­sport ad­vi­sor Hel­mut Marko that he would not be re­turn­ing to the team af­ter the United States GP last month.

In re­cent weeks Wil­liams’ fo­cus has been on Robert Ku­bica, Paul di Resta,

Pas­cal Wehrlein and cur­rent in­cum­bent

Felipe Massa, but chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer

Paddy Lowe has main­tained his team has to as­sess any qual­i­fied and avail­able driver.

“We’ll con­sider all driv­ers that are not con­tracted,” Lowe said when asked about Kvyat by Au­tosport. “Kvyat is a very re­spectable driver, so he should be in the frame.”

Wil­liams does not have a dead­line for a de­ci­sion, and is re­sist­ing pres­sure from Massa to make a call be­fore the Brazil­ian GP.

“We’re talk­ing all the time to Felipe, and we’ll see where we get to with that,” said Lowe. “There are all sorts of sce­nar­ios.

“Re­la­tion­ships be­tween teams and driv­ers around re­newals is al­ways tense, un­for­tu­nately. In F1 it’s a very pub­lic af­fair, and that does make it more awk­ward than we’d like. But Felipe’s a great guy, and he’s got a great re­la­tion­ship with Wil­liams.”

Toro Rosso team prin­ci­pal Franz Tost pointed to a loss of con­fi­dence in Kvyat and poor re­sults as the rea­sons for the Rus­sian be­ing re­leased by Red Bull.

Kvyat only scored points three times for Toro Rosso in 2017 and con­trib­uted just five to the team’s cur­rent to­tal of 53.

“The sea­son from Daniil this year was very un­for­tu­nate,” said Tost. “There were a lot of tech­ni­cal prob­lems that were not in the hands of Daniil. But he also made some driver er­rors.

“Both par­ties lost con­fi­dence in each other.”

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