Toro Rosso close to 2018 driver announcement

Toro Rosso close to 2018 driver announcement
By AutoSport

16/11/2017 at 13:09Updated

Toro Rosso is expected to confirm Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley as its 2018 Formula 1 drivers imminently, with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko suggesting an announcement is close.

While it is been clear for some time that Toro Rosso will retain its current driver pairing following the departure of Carlos Sainz Jr to Renault and the ejection of Daniil Kvyat from the Red Bull programme, Gasly and Hartley have been kept on their toes by the lack of a formal announcement.

Marko indicated after the Brazilian Grand Prix that one might not be far away.

"Maybe Toro Rosso makes a press release with some substantial news," he told Autosport.

Asked if that meant soon after Brazil, he replied: "I guess so. I don't know, we'll have to see. We have other problems at the moment."

Team principal Franz Tost says Gasly and Hartley have proved to be "strong assets" for Toro Rosso, but underlined that the timing of the 2018 line-up announcement was not in his hands.

"This is in the hands of Red Bull to decide," Tost told Autosport.

"Both drivers are strong assets to the team, and therefore I don't see any others going in the car for next year.

"But once more it's a decision of Red Bull, and they will announce this."

2018 F1 driver line-up so far

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen

Red Bull-Renault: Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen

Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon

Williams-Mercedes: Lance Stroll, tba

Toro Rosso-Honda: tba, tba

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz Jr

Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen

McLaren-Renault: Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne

Sauber-Ferrari: tba, tba