Toro Rosso has confirmed it will retain the current driver line-up of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley for the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Gasly (pictured at right with Hartley) made his debut for the team in the Malaysian Grand Prix this year, replacing Daniil Kvyat for the race in Sepang and again a week later in Japan. With Carlos Sainz being allowed to join Renault ahead of the United States Grand Prix, Kvyat was then recalled in Austin while Gasly attempted to win the Super Formula title, leading to Hartley’s surprise call-up.
Kvyat was released by Red Bull after the race in the United States, with Gasly and Hartley forming the line-up in Mexico and Brazil, and Toro Rosso has now confirmed it is a pairing it will retain for next year.
“We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018,” team principal Franz Tost said. “During this last part of the year they’ve shown that they’re ready for Formula 1, getting to grips with the car quickly, showing good performances and always demonstrating to be prepared for the challenge. We have been truly impressed by their steep learning curves.
“As we know, F1 is something that not all drivers can adapt to this fast! Therefore, we’re looking forward to having a full year with them; one where we can hopefully provide them with a good package which, combined with driver consistency, can surely put them in the best possible situation to deliver. I’m sure they will keep pushing hard and fight for strong results, together with the team.”
With Hartley having been racing in the World Endurance Championship after being released from the Red Bull young driver program back in 2010, the New Zealander admits he has been surprised by the quick turnaround in his F1 hopes.
“Really amazing to be confirmed as a Formula 1 driver for next year with Toro Rosso,” Hartley said. “It’s very satisfying to have converted an opportunity that came as a surprise into a 2018 F1 drive – I couldn’t be happier! I’d like to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for believing in me and giving me this second chance – dreams can come true.
“I’m now going to carry on working harder than ever in order to finish this busy end of season on a high and start the new year as strong as possible… Bring it!”
Gasly – who recently said he wanted to be paired with Hartley next year – added: “I’m super happy to race for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2018, for my first proper season in Formula 1.
“I would like to thank all the people involved, who helped me get here: Red Bull, Toro Rosso, my family and all the ones who have supported me in the lower series. I’m really excited and super motivated to give it my all in Abu Dhabi and the whole of next year! I just can’t wait!”