Published: Sun, October 29, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Toro Rosso drop Kvyat and give Hartley another go

Toro Rosso drop Kvyat and give Hartley another go

Toro Rosso began the season with Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr, with the pair contesting the first 14 races before the Russian was dropped in favour of Gasly in Malaysia and Japan.

"We want to test them for the rest of the season because there is a high possibility that this will be the driver line-up for 2018", says Tost.

Franz Tost admits his Scuderia Toro Rosso outfit running with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley is preparation for the 2018 Formula 1 season, with those two set to be the teams line-up next season.

Hartley, 27, then made his debut in the USA race last weekend as a replacement for Gasly who was due to race in the Japanese Super Formula series while Kvyat made a one-off return as a replacement for Carlos Sainz, who has moved to Renault on loan.

Asked whether Kvyat's promotion to Red Bull in 2015 had come too early for the driver, who had spent just one season at Toro Rosso prior to that, the Red Bull team boss replied: "It's always a hard one, you have to grab the opportunity when you have it".

Signed as a teenager to Red Bull's young driver program, he lasted only a short while before he was cut. He had already been demoted by Red Bull in 2016.

Frenchman Gasly and Hartley have in total so far raced in only three grands prix.

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"Brendon is a very high-skilled driver", he continued.

When asked if that approach had an impact on Red Bull's decision, Tost said: "Of course".

"And I hope that especially next year we will bring together a competitive package that he can also fight for victories and good positions", added Tost, whose team are switching to Honda engines.

Earlier in the week team manager Graham Watson told Newshub Hartley would drive with the team for the remainder of the season.

"It's clear that the pressure is higher for me now than in Austin", he said in Austin.

Hartley, now 27, then renewed the relationship with Red Bull when he joined the Porsche sportscar programme and won the world endurance championship.

Kvyat, he said, had been given plenty of chances but ultimately "didn't do enough to warrant retaining the seat".

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