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Hartley has the full backing of Toro Rosso, but does it matter?

©ToroRosso

Toro Rosso team manger Graham Watson says the Faenza-based squad has put its full support behind Brendon Hartley, although ultimately it may not matter.

Montreal was another round to forget for the Kiwi whose promising race was over shortly after it started, when Lance Stroll lost control of his Williams and hit Hartley in Turn 5 on the opening lap, sending himself and the Toro Rosso down the road and into the barriers.

The incident ruined a good opportunity for Hartley to improve his depressed track record following a good performance in qualifying and rumors of his impending demise at Toro Rosso, with Red Bull allegedly seeking to replace the 28-year-old with McLaren junior Lando Norris.

Team manager Graham Watson insists however that the Italian outfit is still backing Hartley to remain alongside Pierre Gasly until the end of the current season.

"We want him to be successful," he told Newshub. "As a Toro Rosso team we are 100 per cent behind Brendon."

However, while Watson throws his support behind its driver, he also knows that it won't be Toro Rosso that ultimately decides Hartley's fate.

"The drivers are predominantly controlled by Red Bull and then we as a team are the guys who work with these two guys and try and make them have the ability to be a world champion in the future," he said.

"We don't have the actual control of what happens with our drivers in Toro Rosso."

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