Next weekend’s 2017 finale in Abu Dhabi will be only Gasly’s fifth Formula 1 weekend and Hartley’s fourth, the Frenchman and the New Zealander having recently joined Toro Rosso’s line-up in place of the Renault-bound Carlos Sainz and the departing Daniil Kvyat.
“We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018”, commented team principal Franz Tost. “During this last part of the year they’ve shown that they’re ready for Formula 1, getting to grips with the car quickly, showing good performances and always demonstrating to be prepared for the challenge.
“We have been truly impressed by their steep learning curves. As we know, F1 is something that not all drivers can adapt to this fast! Therefore, we’re looking forward to having a full year with them; one where we can hopefully provide them with a good package which, combined with driver consistency, can surely put them in the best possible situation to deliver. I’m sure they will keep pushing hard and fight for strong results, together with the team.”
Gasly, 21, was GP2 champion in 2016 and became a member of Red Bull’s junior team in 2014, going on to test for both Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso several times before getting his first Grand Prix outing at Sepang last month.
“I’m super happy to race for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2018, for my first proper season in Formula 1,” he commented. “I would like to thank all the people involved, who helped me get here: Red Bull, Toro Rosso, my family and all the ones who have supported me in the lower series. I’m really excited and super motivated to give it my all in Abu Dhabi and the whole of next year! I just can’t wait!”
For Hartley, 28, the news marks the end of a long path to F1, having been dropped by Red Bull year several years back before going on to make a name for himself in sportscars, winning the WEC championship in 2015 and 2017.
“Really amazing to be confirmed as a Formula 1 driver for next year with Toro Rosso,” he said. “It’s very satisfying to have converted an opportunity that came as a surprise into a 2018 F1 drive, I couldn’t be happier!
“I’d like to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for believing in me and giving me this second chance – dreams can come true. I’m now going to carry on working harder than ever in order to finish this busy end of season on a high and start the new year as strong as possible… Bring it!”