Daniil Kvyat emerges as contender for 2018 Williams F1 seat

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Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe has revealed Red Bull outcast Daniil Kvyat has joined the list of drivers under consideration for a 2018 Formula One seat with the team.

The Grove-based outfit holds the last major vacancy on the grid for 2018 and is currently evaluating which driver to place alongside 19-year-old Canadian rookie Lance Stroll for next season. Williams handed Robert Kubica and reserve driver Paul di Resta private tests at Silverstone and the Hungaroring last month, while the team is also considering whether to retain veteran driver Felipe Massa.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently suggested Pascal Wehrlein, whose future at Sauber beyond this year looks uncertain, is in the running despite a widely-held assumption within the paddock that the team's sponsorship deal with alcohol brand Martini requires at least one of its drivers to be over the age of 25.

Lowe downplayed age-related concerns ahead of last weekend's Mexican Grand Prix, and later confirmed that Kvyat -- who has been cut from Red Bull's driver programme following his departure from Toro Rosso after the U.S. Grand Prix -- is being considered.

"As I said in Austin, we are considering all drivers who are not contracted," Lowe said. "That is a fact. Kvyat is a very respectable driver so he should be in the frame."

Lowe insisted Williams does not have a deadline in which to come to a decision, with the team expected to wait until after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before making an announcement, despite facing pressure from Massa.

"We're talking all the time to Felipe, and we'll see where we get to with that. 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."

Massa recently suggested he may take matters into his own hands as he attempts to draw a decision from Williams before his home race at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the scene of an emotional goodbye to F1 last year that turned out to be premature following his retirement U-turn at the start of 2017.

"For sure I will not wait until December," he said. "I don't put a time line but I hope it will be in the next weeks, so I don't want to arrive in the last two races not knowing about my future. So we will wait and see what the decision is going to be and I hope it will be soon."