“I know what my contract says” - that's what a defiant Brendon Hartley had to say when he was asked to respond to reports that his seat is under threat at Toro Rosso.
Earlier this week, the Press Association reported that Toro Rosso had asked McLaren if they could take their reserve driver - current F2 championship leader Lando Norris - on loan in place of Hartley from the Austrian Grand Prix onwards. Toro Rosso have declined to comment, however according to the same story, McLaren rejected the proposal.
"We are not surprised that other teams approach our drivers,” a McLaren spokesperson said. “They clearly believe they are as talented as we do."
New Zealander Hartley was quizzed by reporters on the topic in the Montreal paddock on Thursday and projected confidence in his arrangement with Toro Rosso.
“It’s the second Grand Prix in a row I’ve been responding to rumours,” said Hartley. “But it’s not really interesting for me to comment. I know what my contract says.
“I’m very confident in the work I’ve been doing behind the scenes with Toro Rosso to develop the car. Things didn’t really go my way in Monaco qualifying, but I felt pretty strong all weekend.