Toro Rosso ‘optimistic’ of points

Date published: November 21 2017

Still in the infancy of their F1 careers, Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly would like to bid farewell to the 2017 F1 season with points in Abu Dhabi.

Brendon Hartley: “Wow, what a way to end a year… Abu Dhabi will mark the end of a very busy and surreal few months for me! This will be my fourth Formula 1 Grand Prix of my career and I have to say that I’ve been feeling more and more comfortable in the Toro Rosso F1 car if I compare it to the first time I drove it. I now feel right at home within the team too, which is always a nice feeling to have. Abu Dhabi is a track I have raced and tested on in other categories and I remain optimistic that I can score my first F1 point!”

Pierre Gasly: “I’m really excited and looking forward to the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi! It’s a track I really like, especially because I have some really good memories from racing there last year, where I won the GP2 Series title. It’s a place that therefore means a lot to me, also because I was on pole position there for the last two GP2 seasons! It’s also a race that starts in day light but ends at night time under the floodlights, so it’s a bit different to usual and makes it even more special. The fireworks at the end of the race are also quite spectacular and I like it because they always try to create an amazing atmosphere… and they really manage!! I will give my very best; we need to really push and keep our sixth position in the constructors’ championship – it’s really important for the team and us drivers, as we want to make sure the team can develop the car as much as we’d like for next year. I will do my best and hopefully finish the season on a high in order to start with a strong baseline for 2018.”

Toro Rosso confirm Gasly, Hartley for 2018

Date published: November 16 2017

Toro Rosso have announced that they have retained their current driver line-up of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley for the 2018 season.

The Red Bull junior team started the 2017 campaign with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, but Jolyon Palmer’s early departure from Renault allowed Sainz to complete his move early while Kvyat was dropped altogether from the Red Bull programme despite a point-scoring finish on his brief return at the United States Grand Prix.

But, after several swaps this year, Toro Rosso have settled on Gasly and Hartley for the foreseeable future.

“We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018,” said Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost.

“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 both their steep learning curves.

“I’m sure they will keep pushing hard and fight for strong results, together with the team.”

Both drivers are understandably delighted that their respective Formula 1 careers will continue into next season.

“It’s very satisfying to have converted an opportunity that came as a surprise into a 2018 F1 drive, I couldn’t be happier,” said Hartley.

“I’d like to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for believing in me and giving me this second chance – dreams can come true.”

Gasly added: “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!”

The latest driver announcements means just Williams and Sauber are left before the 2018 field is completed.

Toro Rosso announcement is imminent

Date published: November 15 2017

Toro Rosso could confirm Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley as their 2018 driver line-up within the next few days.

Gasly was promoted from test driver to race drive at this year’s Malaysian GP with an eye to testing him in a race situation before deciding their 2018 line-up.

The surprise, though, came when Hartley – formerly a Red Bull driver junior – was handed a seat for the United States GP and then retained for the remainder of the season.

With both drivers impressing the team, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says it is only a matter of time before Toro Rosso confirm both drivers for next season. 

“Maybe Toro Rosso makes a press release with some substantial news,” he told Motorsport.com.

Asked if that would happen ‘sooo after Brazil’, he replied: “I guess so. I don’t know, we’ll have to see. We have other problems at the moment.”

Meanwhile both drivers have been backed by Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost, but he says the decision, and the announcement, are in Red Bull’s hands.

“This is in the hands of Red Bull to decide,” he told the publication.

“Both drivers are strong assets to the team, and therefore I don’t see any others going in the car for next year.

“But once more it’s a decision of Red Bull, and they will announce this.”

Renault-powered trio get 10-place grid drops

Date published: November 10 2017

Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley have all been hit with 10-place grid drops at the Brazilian Grand Prix due to taking on fresh power unit elements.

Renault’s reliability came under question in the last race as Ricciardo, Hartley plus works team duo Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg all retired from the race in Mexico City.

And now the hangover from that race has taken effect and, in Toro Rosso’s case lingered on as Hartley and Gasly both continued to suffer with engine issues in FP1 at Interlagos.

Hartley did not even complete his installation lap before his car went up in smoke, while Gasly managed just one timed lap before a fresh problem with the MGU-H was discovered.

Toro Rosso are analysing both cars ahead of FP2 with the likelihood of more grid penalties to come.

Toro Rosso duo look ahead to Brazil

Date published: November 7 2017

Heading into the third race in his F1 career, Brendon Hartley is “starting to feel at home” while Pierre Gasly is hoping that “anything can happen” in Brazil.

Brendon Hartley: “I’m very happy to be heading to Brazil with Toro Rosso. With the help of the team I made big progress in Mexico and I’m confident that, with a little bit more luck than last time out, we can fight for points. I’m starting to feel at home in the F1 paddock and Sao Paulo is a track I enjoyed and know quite well from when I raced there back in 2014 for the final round of the FIA WEC Championship. So, all in all, I definitely look forward to my third race weekend in Formula 1 and what will be my fifth race weekend in a row!”

Pierre Gasly: “I’m so excited to be racing in Brazil this week! It will be my first time driving in Sao Paulo, it’s such a mythical track! It has so much history and it’s one of my favourites, even though I wasn’t born, one of my favourite races was when Ayrton Senna won in ’91. With Senna being one of my all-time idols, I really can’t wait to get there and discover this amazing track! The weather can be sometimes tricky and I remember many race weekends happening under rain, in terms of performance it will be better for us. I really like wet conditions as well, so let’s see how it will be, I think the rain would be good for us to spice things up! If it rains, anything can happen!”

‘High possibility’ Gasly, Hartley will stay for 2018

Date published: October 28 2017

There is a “high possibility” that Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will make up Toro Rosso’s 2018 driver line-up, according to Franz Tost.

This weekend Toro Rosso are racing Gasly and Hartley in Mexico as the team fields a fourth different line-up this season.

Although the team began the year with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, Sainz has left for Renault while Kvyat has officially been dropped.

Speaking about his new line-up, team boss Tost said: “Both are Red Bull drivers, both are high-skilled drivers, fast drivers.

“We want to test both of them because there’s a high possibility this will be our driver for 2018 line-up.”

As for Kvyat, Tost confirmed that he is “not any more with Red Bull and he is therefore free to do whatever he wants to do.

“He is not any more with Red Bull or Toro Rosso.”

Gasly and Hartley in for Mexico, Kvyat is out

Date published: October 24 2017

Toro Rosso have confirmed Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley for the Mexican GP with Daniil Kvyat’s future looking grim.

The Italian team announced Gasly and Hartley on Monday meaning they will field a different driver line-up for the third successive race.

In a brief statement, the team said: “Scuderia Toro Rosso’s driver lineup for the upcoming 2017 Mexican Grand Prix will be formed by … Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.”

While Gasly was expected to return to the team after missing the United States GP to contest the Super Formula finale, which was washed out, Hartley’s US deal was believed to be a one-off.

The 27-year-old had a strong debut last weekend as he started P19 and raced his way to 13th at the chequered flag.

The New Zealander’s second outing means Kvyat is once again on the sidelines, sitting out a third race despite scoring upon his return in Austin last Sunday.

It has also cast doubt on his future with reports suggesting that the 23-year-old Russian racer is no longer a part of Red Bull’s long-term plans.

Kvyat, who last season returned to Toro Rosso after being dropped by senior team Red Bull, has managed just five points this season.