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Formula One

Toro Rosso Confirms 2018 Driver Line-Up

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The game of seat roulette at Toro Rosso has finally come to a close, as the team confirmed on Thursday that Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will race for them in 2018.

“We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018”, commented team principal 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 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.”

The 2017 F1 season finale at Abu Dhabi will mark Gasly’s fifth career start after winning the GP2 Championship last year. The 19-year-old has been part of the Red Bull fold since 2014, joining their Junior Team and testing for both Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso several times before his debut at Sepang.

“I’m super happy to race for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2018, for my first proper season in Formula 1,” he commented. “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!”

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi will be Hartley’s fourth career series start after winning WEC Championships in 2015 and 2017. The 28-year-old previously pursued an F1 career, though was dropped by Red Bull year several years back before transitioning to sportscar competition.

“Really amazing to be confirmed as a Formula 1 driver for next year with Toro Rosso,” he 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!”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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