Daniil Kvyat has joined the growing number of drivers being considered for a drive at Williams Martini Racing in 2018, with Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe insisting the Russian is an option now he has official been released from the Red Bull programme.
Kvyat was dropped permanently from his ride at Scuderia Toro Rosso ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, and joins Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Pascal Wehrlein and current Williams racer Felipe Massa in the battle to partner Lance Stroll next season.
“As I said in Austin we’ll consider all drivers that are not contracted,” said Lowe to Motorsport.com. “That is a fact. Kvyat is a very respectable driver, so he should be in the frame.”
Lowe says there is no deadline to make a decision despite Massa wanting to know whether he has a ride with Williams in 2018 by the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks time, but regardless of the decision, the relationship between the team and the Brazilian remains strong.
“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. It’s something that we’re managing internally.
“Relationships between teams and drivers around renewals is always tense, unfortunately. Most of us when we got and apply for a job, it’s done in private. 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, it’s very respectful both ways. Whatever we conclude together, we’ll remain on good terms.”