- Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley is on thin ice with the Red Bull family. Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko has described the Kiwi’s F1 situation as “not pleasing”.
The New Zealander’s future with Toro Rosso has been thrown in doubt as several rumours of potential replacements have been floating around. The 28-year old had a rather ordinary start to the 2018 season compared to teammate Pierre Gasly.
“We will go through this in peace and see what we can do in the future.”
Red Bull, and Marko in particular, are renowned for their brutal treatment of under-performing drivers. Ferrari’s current reserve driver Daniil Kvyat found out the hard way 2 seasons ago. The Russian was demoted to Toro Rosso in favour of Max Verstappen. Then, last year, he was dropped from Toro Rosso entirely, in favour of Gasly.
Should Hartley face the axe, potential recruits include Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein, Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi, Red Bull juniors Jake Dennis and Sean Galael. Interestingly, an unlikely name has also cropped up, a certain Polish driver by the name of Robert Kubica.
Toro Rosso have also confirmed on record that they are looking to add a Japanese driver to their line-up. The move is expected to be a way to deepen their relationship with Honda.