The uncertainty surrounding Red Bull's future engine supply is naturally spreading to throughout the four-time world champion organisation, with drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat still unsure of what they'll be driving next season.
While team principal Christian Horner confirmed in Brazil that Red Bull had filed an entry for the 2016 F1 world championship, he also admitted that participation was entirely dependent on an engine partner being secured. Having apparently burned its bridges with long-time partner Renault, Red Bull was rebuffed by both Ferrari and Mercedes, while a potential link-up with Honda was kyboshed by McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, who wants the Japanese giant to honour its one-team agreement.
Should everything work out as the team hopes – which might include a cap-in-hand return to Renault – the F1 paddock expects it to retain an unchanged driver line-up, with Kvyat moving into a second season at Milton Keynes. The Russian is also optimistic that that will be the case, but knows that he will have to wait for confirmation.
“It's been a very up and down season, so there obviously were many very interesting rumours and so on,” he said, “In the beginning of the season, the situation was not very pleasant, but I think I'm very happy in the team right now. I managed to build some very strong relationships with most of the guys in the team, and it's getting stronger and stronger every weekend which is very important.
“I think the second year is always when you put all your experience with the team together and that's where it should look the strongest. That's my understanding. I would be very happy to continue with the team, but obviously there has to be some official confirmation, so we'll have to wait and see.”
Red Bull is hardly struggling for talent should it decide that Kvyat's season – in which he currently heads team-mate Ricciardo by one place and ten points in the standings – doesn't live up to expectation, with Toro Rosso duo Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz set to be hot properties in coming years. While STR boss Franz Tost expects to have an unchanged line-up should the 'junior' team secure its own engine supply for 2016, Kvyat admits that the threat is always paddock-wide, but says his end-of-season form deserves recognition.
“As long as I perform, then I'm not concerned at all,” he insisted, “I think, lately, it has been okay, so it's not a concern for me. There are many good drivers in the paddock but, as long as I do my job well, I don't see a threat. For me, I just focus on weekends like in Mexico and, as long as the team is happy and we keep bringing good points, then not at all.”