Toro Rosso has hinted that Daniil Kvyat could stay at the Red Bull junior team beyond 2017. The Russsian spent one season at Toro Rosso in 2014 before being promoted to senior team Red Bull in 2015, replacing Sebastian Vettel. However, after just one season, he was demoted back to the junior team, while Max Verstappen got the high running drive.
Speculation over the future of the future of the 23-year-old was wild last year, and many expected him to lose his seat to Pierre Gasly who went on to win last season's GP2 championship.
Officials in the Red Bull programme have said that there is no reason why Kvyat wouldn't be able to keep his seat for next season if he shows strong results and benefits the team.
"He is driving well now," Dr Helmut Marko, the head of the energy drink company's driver programme, told Russia's Sportbox. "I don't see any reason why he would leave the team. He has his confidence back.
"In the near future Kvyat does not have a chance to return to Red Bull because we have two drivers whose contracts expire after 2018," he added. "But the decision on whether he will remain at Toro Rosso will be taken at the beginning of the summer."
Horner, the Red Bull team boss, agreed: "Daniil is doing a good job now and his confidence is growing. The only reason that we kept him in the programme is because we believe in his ability. Red Bull has its two drivers for this and next season, but after that everything is possible."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing