Scuderia Toro Rosso confirms Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will drive for the team in 2018. The announcement introduces stability to the team following the driver hot-swapping.
Gasly made his F1 debut in Malaysia, replacing the troubled Daniil Kyvat. Hartley debuted in Texas for the USGP, replacing Carlos Sainz who moved to Renault. Kyvat would then fill in for Gasly at the USGP as he had prior obligations to Super Formula.
With the craziness out of the way, both men will continue to be teammates next season. As it stands, Hartley hasn’t had the best luck behind the wheel of this year’s car. His best race result is 13th followed by two retirements. Gasly on the other hand one-ups his teammate with a best place finish of 12th at Brazil last weekend. Needless to say, next season is a fresh start for both men and will be a better gauge of their talent.
That is to say the talent is there, as displayed by both men coming to grips with the car in such a short time. Hartley won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside teammates Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard. Additionally, he’s the 2015 World Endurance Champion alongside Bernhard and former F1 pilot Mark Webber.
Gasly is last year’s GP2 champion, runner-up in the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series and this year’s Super Formula. To say Toro Rosso doesn’t have potential would be a gross miscalculation. With an improved racing package and driver consistency between them, anything is possible.
Team Principal Franz Tost shared his thoughts on the continued partnership:
“As we know, F1 is something that not all drivers can adapt to this fast! Therefore, we’re looking forward to a full year with them; one where we can hopefully provide them with a full package which, combined with driver consistency, can surely put them in the best possible position to deliver. I’m sure they will keep pushing hard and fighting for strong results, together with the team.”
Next weekend is the season finale race at Abu Dhabi. With both men having a handful of races under their belt, they’ll want a strong result to close the season. To read the announcement in full, head over to Toro Rosso’s webpage.