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F1: Brendon Hartley in Danger of Getting the Boot from Toro Rosso

F1: Brendon Hartley in Danger of Getting the Boot from Toro Rosso

  1. 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.

Hartley has amassed only a single F1 World Championship point after six races. Meanwhile, on the other end of the garage, Gasly has 18 points.
Brendon Hartley
Gasly gave Toro Rosso’s joint-best finish since Sebastian Vettel’s shock win in Italy back in 2008. The 22-year old Frenchman finished in a fine P4 in Bahrain. He followed that up with another brilliant performance with a P7 in Monaco. All the while, Hartley was nowhere close to at least matching that same level.
Hartley admitted that he was surprised to hear about the rumours concerning his future. However Marko seems to be calling all the shots. He suggested that Hartley’s future will be assessed soon.
“The situation around Brendon is not pleasing,” Marko said.

“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.

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