By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced that both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will return for the 2018 Formula One season.
A year that began with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat, has since seen the latter go off to Renault and the former dropped on two occasions throughout the season. Those events put Gasly in the seat at Malaysia, where with the exception of the United States Grand Prix, he has occupied it since.
For Hartley, a winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year, his return to open wheel racing came in substitute of Gasly at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and showed enough to warrant a chance to finish out the season.
Franz Tost, Team Principal of Toro Rosso, was elated to have the driver lineup settled before the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018”, said 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 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.”
Overall, both drivers couldn’t contain their excitement to get a full season campaign for next season.
“I’m super happy to race for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2018, for my first proper season in Formula 1,” said Gasly.
“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!”
Hartley added, “Really amazing to be confirmed as a Formula 1 driver for next year with Toro Rosso – 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!”