There has been a lot of chopping and changing in the F1 paddock and the latest driver to confirm his seat is Pierre Gasly. The 22-year old has confirmed that he will leave Toro Rosso to race for Red Bull in 2019.
This leaves a seat vacant at Scuderia Toro Rosso alongside Brendon Hartley. A return for Carlos Sainz is out of question as he has signed for Mclaren. The question of who will be his teammate will also need answering. Currently, their options lie between Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris. The two will be competing for that one seat at McLaren. However, there is still the question of who will get the remaining Toro Rosso seat.
It is possible that whoever gets the McLaren drive, the other driver could be partnered with Brendon Hartley. Other options include Red Bull junior Daniel Ticktum, who is currently racing in the FIA F3 championship.
Ticktum is leading the F3 championship at the moment from Ralf Aron. He got into serious trouble in 2015 during the MS Formula race. In the heat of the moment, he deliberately crashed into another driver, resulting in a 2-year ban. Fortunately, it seems that Ticktum has cleaned up his act.
But the incident did leave a scar when he was deemed ineligible to take part in the post-Hungary test. He failed to accumulate the required 14 super-license points needed for an F1 test.
“The points system was introduced to bring everything not only to a required standard, but you knew exactly where you stood,” said FIA race director Charlie Whiting.
“Superlicences were sometimes awarded at the discretion of the permanent bureau of the F1 Commission. There were no absolute rules about it.
“This year we introduced the same system for A licences, which is what Dan Ticktum is missing.
“This was all because of the problem he had in the UK where effectively he got a two-year ban, half of which was suspended.”
Hopefully for Toro Rosso, things will sort themselves out and the identity of Hartley’s future teammate will be revealed.
Some seem to think that Vandoorne is the likeliest candidate to join Toro Rosso, given his struggles to keep up with Alonso.
So where does this leave Toro Rosso now? Vandoorne or Norris seem possible as a makeweight to unlock Key (hur hur). Team looks well-placed to pick up anyone falling through the net in silly season…
— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) August 20, 2018