Aug.23 (GMM/ Toro Rosso looks set to keep an unchanged driver lineup into 2016.

The Red Bull-owned team has been openly happy with its latest pair of rookies, including the 17-year-old sensation Max Verstappen and Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

In fact, it is believed Verstappen is already being courted by Ferrari, to replace the newly re-signed Kimi Raikkonen ahead of the 2017 season.

“Max is an extraordinary talent,” said the head of Red Bull’s driver programme, Dr Helmut Marko. “I think the other top teams have noticed it too,” he told Kolner Express newspaper.

Verstappen, meanwhile, said of the new Ferrari rumour: “That’s hypothetical. What comes next, we will have to see.

“But I do feel fully accepted by the other drivers and ready for the next step.”

As for Verstappen’s teammate Sainz, the 20-year-old admitted he expects to also stay at Toro Rosso for a second season.

“I have not signed a contract for next year,” he told Spain’s El Mundo in Belgium. “It will be renewed when my bosses decide to.

“But it was a good sign that other names were not mentioned (in connection to Toro Rosso) over the summer.

“I think throwing some young guys in with the pressure to be throw out after one year is a little strong. We have peace and stability, and that shows in our performance.

“I don’t know for sure that I am going to stay, but the feeling I have is that I will,” Sainz added.