Helmut Marko has shot down the rumours of Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly stepping up to the Toro Rosso squad to replace Daniil Kvyat for the Singapore Grand Prix and says a decision on 2017 won't be made until mid-October.
Rumours surfaced after the Italian Grand Prix on Spanish television that Gasly confirmed he will be replacing Kvyat at Toro Rosso for the next F1 race at Singapore.
Dr Marko, head of the Red Bull driver development programme, has blasted the speculation and has assured Kvyat he will remain in F1 with a final decision to be made next month.
Click here for full Italian GP race results from Monza
Since Kvyat was switched back to Toro Rosso in order to promote Max Verstappen he has endured a frustrating run of form with just two points finishes (both 10th place at Spain and Great Britain) while Gasly is marching towards the GP2 Series title.
“It is absolute rubbish,” Marko said on Sky Sports F1
. “Kvyat will have his chance to recover and we won't make any decisions until mid-October on who will have the race seat at Toro Rosso next year. It is news to me and believe me I will be on the phone immediately.”
Kvyat is the only Red Bull-backed driver currently without a contract for next year, with Red Bull securing its other three drivers early with new contracts, and speculation has steadily grown that the Russian could be shown the exit in favour of Gasly for 2017.
Marko has explained it is not fair to judge Kvyat on his current run of results due to a series of mechanical issues and 'bad luck' but he is aiming to make a decision within the next six weeks.
“At the moment whatever goes wrong, it goes wrong on his car, so it wouldn't be fair to judge him on what has happened so far,” Marko said. “We are patient and hopefully all the bad luck also came in qualifying when Grosjean was in his way.
"The unlucky situations have to stop and if we have enough information then we will make our decision.”
Kvyat was forced into his fourth straight non-points result at Monza when Toro Rosso chose to retire his car due to a damaged floor sustained at the first turn before an overheating battery plagued his race pace.
Gasly has since denied the reports that he said he was driving for Toro Rosso in Singapore and is expected to see out the season in GP2.
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