By Alan Baldwin
MONZA, Italy (Reuters) – Red Bull dismissed speculation on Sunday that Russian driver Daniil Kvyat was about to be replaced at their Toro Rosso Formula One team.
“Kvyat will be definitely in the Toro Rosso in Singapore, and also for the rest of the season,” Red Bull driver development head Helmut Marko told reporters after the Italian Grand Prix.
Media reports had quoted Red Bull’s French driver Pierre Gasly, leader of the GP2 feeder series, as saying he would be replacing Kvyat in Singapore.
Marko doubted Gasly would be “so stupid” as to say such a thing and the 20-year-old driver subsequently denied on Twitter that he had done so, saying he had merely hoped for an opportunity as soon as possible.
Marko said there were no plans to put Gasly in the car for Friday practice either.
Kvyat started the season at Red Bull Racing but was demoted back to Toro Rosso in May after he collided twice with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, a four-times world champion with Red Bull, at his home Russian Grand Prix.
The Russian had been on the podium in the previous race in China.
Dutch teenager Max Verstappen took his place and won on his first outing with Red Bull in Spain, a result that did nothing for Kvyat’s morale.
The Russian has finished in the points just twice since the swap, both 10th places, and retired again at Monza on Sunday.
Marko indicated the jury was still out and a decision on next year’s Toro Rosso lineup would not be decided until there was more data. Spaniard Carlos Sainz’s place is assured, however.
“At the moment he (Kvyat) has so much bad luck on the technical and sporting side, so it wouldn’t be fair to judge at the moment,” said the Austrian.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)