Franz Tost, Toro Rosso, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Hartley must improve to stay at Toro Rosso – Tost

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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Brendon Hartley needs to raise his game to stay at Toro Rosso for the 2019 F1 season, according to team principal Franz Tost.

The team has already confirmed Daniil Kvyat as one of its two drivers for next year. Pierre Gasly is leaving to join Red Bull. But Hartley’s place in the team is not yet assured.

The 28-year-old scored the best result of his 22-race Formula 1 career at Austin after the disqualifications of Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen promoted him to ninth place.

“He showed a good race in Austin,” said Tost in today’s FIA press conference. “But nevertheless if you look to the results, he has four points, Pierre [Gasly] has 28 points.

“That means he has to improve his performance if he wants to stay in the team.”

Asked whether Toro Rosso was working on releasing Alexander Albon from his Nissan Formula E contract to drive for them next year, Tost said: “Of course but you know negotiations are confidential, I can’t give any details about this.”

Toro Rosso has one of the three remaining seats for 2019 which has not been officially filled. The others are at Force India, which is expected to go to Lance Stroll, and at Williams.

Tost says he expects the decision won’t be made before the season is over. “First of all we have to finish the season to get a clear picture. And then I assume in December Red Bull will decide the driver line-up of Toro Rosso.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Hartley must improve to stay at Toro Rosso – Tost”

  1. I think he’s been making decent progress for an F1 rookie under pressure. I like the easy-going no “bull” attitude he brings. Ultimately though Red Bull is a harsh mistress and I think he’ll be out the door and touting for drives again in 2019. They fired Kvyat twice (?) and he was one of their favourites.

    1. Was Kvyat really one of their favourites? After all, when Kvyat clipped Vettel during the Chinese GP, rather than offering him support after that race, Marko reportedly went up to Kvyat after that race and furiously criticised him for hitting “his driver” – for, you see, Marko was more interested in Vettel, even though he was now driving for a different team, than he was in Kvyat.

  2. Hartley a full second faster than Gasly in FP2 and 6th fastest overall. Faster than both Ferrari’s and Mercedes’s

    Responding to the pressure?

    1. Still not enough. Hartley must pick up at least 30 points in Mexico to up his game sufficiently for Tost’s tastes.

      1. @jimmi-cynic I suspect 25 points might be enough. 29 pts total. Puts him in front of as Gasly long as he doesn’t finish top 10…

        1. Again let’s be realistic, they want a couple more points finishes from hartley to prove he’s improved, even if he won’t get anywhere near gasly’s total score that would be enough, but I think he won’t.

  3. Get Kubica in that car!

  4. So… is Tost saying that if Hartley gets into the Top-7 in a couple of races he retains his seat…?
    In which case what happens to Albon and Nissan…??
    Clearly, if TR can get Albon, Hartley is out the door – wherever he finishes in the points.

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