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Hartley and Gasly likely to stay for 2018

NEWS STORY
28/10/2017

Franz Tost confirms that Toro Rosso is likely to retain Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly for 2018.

Back in the fold after being dumped mid-2010, Hartley was recalled by Red Bull ahead of last week's United States Grand Prix as Toro Rosso sought a replacement for Pierre Gasly who was in Japan contesting a race that never happened.

Handicapped by a grid penalty before he'd even stepped in the car, the Kiwi was retained for this weekend's race, even though Gasly was back on F1 duty and Daniil Kvyat had scored a point finish in Austin.

However, speaking at the FIA press conference, Tost revealed that while the Russian is no longer part of the Red Bull 'family', having been effectively disinherited, Hartley and Gasly are likely to spearhead the Faenza outfit's 2018 campaign.

Asked, after the recent episodes of musical chairs, his team has settled on two rookies, Tost replied: "Both are high-skilled drivers, fast drivers and 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."

Having been dropped by Red Bull mid-2010, Tost was asked what made Hartley attractive to his team again.

"You must have seen it from outside," he replied, "because he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and he won the LMP1 world championship - that means the results are there.

"Brendon is a very high-skilled driver," he continued. "He is very committed, passionate for motor sport, and I am really happy that he is back and I can tell you that if we give him a competitive car he will be there and he will also fight in Formula One for success. And I hope that especially next year that we will bring together a competitive package that he can also fight for victories and good positions."

"What is fantastic about the Brendon story is, that is a guy who started off life on the junior programme," added Horner. "He got dropped early on in his career from the junior programme. There was no remorse, there was no "poor me" or "haven't I been badly treated". At the time he thanked Red Bull for the opportunity and endeavoured to stay in touch.

"At that point he had nothing else to race. He went back to racing Minis, historic Formula One cars, anything he could get his hands on he raced. He showed a passion and a commitment to keep doing what he believed in himself as a race car driver.

"He renewed his association with Red Bull when he became a sports car driver with Porsche, and became a world champion, and again is competing for that world championship again this year. And I think it's testimony to him, his determination and tenacity, and skill and talent that he has got himself back into a position where he has been selected to be in the Toro Rosso car for the races that he is doing."

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