13 Jun 2018

Red Bull give their backing to Hartley

6:23 am on 13 June 2018

Red Bull appear to have given their backing to Brendon Hartley's immediate future in the Toro Rosso Formula One team.

Brendon Hartley during practice run in Canada

Brendon Hartley during practice run in Canada Photo: © LaPresse Photo4 2018

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko says Hartley's huge first-lap crash in the Canadian Grand Prix on Monday will have no impact on his F1 future.

The New Zealander has been under pressure after a difficult start to his first full year in F1, with McLaren protege Lando Norris approached as a possible mid-season replacement.

Hartley's crash leaves him on one point after seven races, compared to 18 for teammate Pierre Gasly, but Marko said it would not be held against him.

"It was, I would say, a racing accident, and has nothing to do about his future," Marko told Motorsport.com. "He will be in the car."

Marko described "all the people who say they want to race for Toro Rosso, or they want to put an offer that we didn't know about" as "unbelievable stories going around".

Hartley was the quicker Toro Rosso driver through practice and said after qualifying 12th that he was keen to complete a clean weekend and fight for points.

He was taken to hospital for scans after the accident but was later given the all-clear and said he was "ready for the next race" in France in two weeks' time.

"I'm really disappointed for Toro Rosso and Honda, because we've been quite strong all weekend with a good update from the power unit," said Hartley.

"I think we definitely had the pace to challenge for points."