Brendon Hartley's F1 team confirm they were ready to axe Kiwi driver

Brendon Hartley's Formula 1 team have confirmed rumours surrounding the possible axing of the Kiwi driver were true for a time.

Red Bull Racing consultant Dr Helmut Marko told German motorsport website Motorsport Magazin Hartley's future at Toro Rosso was in jeopardy after the Kiwi had only earned one championship point after seven races so far this season.

"If the trajectory had not improved, then we would have had to look somewhere for an alternative," he said.

"But that's not the case and Brendon is now competitive."

Hartley had shown improvements at the last Grand Prix in Canada where he qualified 12th for the race before being the victim in another unfortunate accident which ended his race just five turns into the first lap.

Hartley is set to compete in the French Grand Prix this weekend, with qualifying starting at 2am NZT on Sunday.

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