Multiple sources are suggesting that Red Bull reserve driver Pierre Gasly will be replacing Russia’s Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso. The Faenza-based team have just confirmed it on their website. The announcement is possibly an attempt for an early tryout for the Frenchman. It could also be an attempt to help him get used to the car in racing conditions. This call up will help speed his preparation for the 2018 season.
In Singapore, news broke that Carlos Sainz Jr was signing for Renault. Soon, rumours flew around that the Spaniard could join the team as early as Malaysia. This would mean that Gasly would have had an early debut with the Scuderia Toro Rosso team. However, Jolyon Palmer quashed those rumoursm saying that he intended to see out the season.
With Sainz Jr finishing 4th in Singapore, it moved Toro Rosso to 7th position in the Constructors’ championship. With Sainz not budging from his Toro Rosso seat until 2018, the team has decided to rest second driver Daniil Kvyat and try out Gasly for the next couple of races.
Team principal Franz Tost said “Scuderia Toro Rosso was established by Red Bull to bring youngsters from its Junior Programme into Formula 1 and that’s what we are doing by giving Pierre this chance. He is the next in line at Red Bull for this opportunity and he has shown that he deserves it, having taken the 2016 GP2 title and this year being very competitive in the Super Formula series in Japan.”
“He really has a valid chance of winning the title, as he is only half a point behind the leader. The driver switch gives us an opportunity to make a more informed decision regarding our 2018 driver choices. For a variety of reasons, some of them due to technical problems, but others being mistakes of his own making, Daniil Kvyat has not really shown his true potential so far this year, which is why we are standing him down for the next races. This will give us the opportunity to evaluate Pierre on track during a proper race weekend.”
The Frenchman said “I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get this chance in my motor racing career and specifically, Red Bull, Dr. Helmut Marko and Scuderia Toro Rosso…this is a great opportunity for me. I feel as ready as I can be, having had to be prepared for anything in my role as Red Bull Racing’s third driver this year. I will do my best to perform well with Scuderia Toro Rosso during these coming races.”
However, the way things will work is that Gasly drives in Malaysia and Japan. Daniil Kvyat will return for the US Grand Prix since Pierre Gasly has conflicting Super Formula commitments. But the plan beyond those 3 races is a mystery.