Toro Rosso drop Kvyat again, Hartley and Gasly will race in Mexico

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Toro Rosso’s drivers for the Mexican Grand Prix will be Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, the team has confirmed.

Gasly, who made his F1 debut in Malaysia, stepped down from the team last weekend to take part in the final Japanese Super Formula round at Suzuka. However the two races were cancelled, ending his chances of winning the championship.

He will return alongside Hartley, who made his grand prix debut yesterday at the Circuit of the Americas. The pair have just three F1 race starts between them.

The news means Kvyat, who returned at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix and finished tenth, has been dropped again. He described yesterday’s grand prix as “my best race of the season for sure.”

“I came here with a fresh mindset,” Kvyat added. “We shuffled some things in the team to give everyone some new motivation and some new focuses. Everything has been working fantastically this weekend and the race was just great.”

Toro Rosso announced the change in a brief statement on Monday which read: “Scuderia Toro Rosso’s driver line-up for the upcoming 2017 Mexican Grand Prix will be formed by the following pairing: Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.”

Hartley said he was “satisfied” with his first appearance in an F1 car which came over six years after his last race in a single-seater. “The pace was pretty strong, especially at the end,” he said.

Hartley has already races at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this year in the World Endurance Championship, where he shared victory with Porsche LMP1 team mates Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard. He has two further WEC rounds to contest this year, neither of which clash with F1 races.

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

    Browse all Mexican Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    59 comments on “Toro Rosso drop Kvyat again, Hartley and Gasly will race in Mexico”

    1. So cruel. Kvyat was very good in Austin. Just one race in but I don’t see Hartley being better in the long run. They’re just abandoning him.

      1. …but he was awful in the rest of the season. Just one good race is not enough, it’s F1.

        Sainz collected 95 % of Toro Rosso’s points.

      2. I think he (Harltey) would be more consistent in the long, first race weekend in a F1 car and he didn’t bin it once, he survived the race, and once he started getting used to the car and the tyres, he was actually one of the fastest cars for the final 18 laps, hovering around 100seconds, whereas most were 101 and 102 i.e non top 3 teams.
        In addition, his fastest lap of the race was 1 second quicker than Kyvat, pretty good for a rookie.

        He did himself proud and deserves a second go next weekend to prove himself.

      3. @hahostolze Hartley did a solid job considering the context and inexperience. There is no reason he wouldn’t improve. Though it seems they badly want to drop Kvyat no matter what!

        But Hartley looks like he’s mature enough to make good progress and be consistent. Also it fits well with Red Bull philosophy to either promote or drop drivers after a few years.

        1. Ofc they want to drop kvyat, every time kvyat gets demoted verstappen wins! If it works again I expect kvyat to get back soon!

    2. This is harsh for Kvyat, he must feel terrible after scoring a solid point yesterday for the team.

      Assume the team is looking to evaluate Hartley further, it looks like two from Kvyat/Gasly/Hartley for 2018.

    3. Max to win at Mexico then!

      Seriously though, they just dont want Kvyat do they? Its clear.

      I’m glad they are giving Hartley another chance tho! But Gastly never raced at Mexico (I think) so maybe repeating the lineup would been better. Not to mention Pierre will have to travel all the way from Japan, and that’s tough!

      1. Gastly? F1 drivers share Pokemon names now ;)

        1. @brickles that was just my phone playing tricks! :P

      2. @fer-no65 I’m pretty sure it’s part of red bulls plan to help max win in Mexico and abu Dhabi. After all max won every race that kvyat got demoted. So they should just promote and demote him every race.

        1. Exactly, it’s what I’m thinking too!

    4. Kvyat should just stay home for the remaining 3 races and say screw you TR. If Gasly or Hartley can’t race for some odd reason I’m sure TR could find another driver instead of dragging Kvyat to another race just to drop him again.

      1. That would partly depend on whether the FIA allows them. Teams have to apply for special permission to run more than 4 drivers in one season

    5. I don’t particularly feel sorry for Kvyat, it’s tough but he had plenty of opportunities. Frankly 2017 was a season more than he merited.

      But I’m not impressed with Toro Rosso showing him the door without even mentioning him. Not classy.

      1. It seems that decision may not be final yet. They could promote only the better performer between Gasly and Hartley if there is a clear performance difference after these next 3 races.

        Kvyat may get a 3rd chance in F1 if one of them doesn’t perform. They could even bring Kvyat back the last race for a death match against the worst performer. Cut throat indeed.

      2. Putting Hartley alongside Gasly shows that they’re in doubt about Gasly taking the seat in 2018 and not Kvyat. By that move I’m pretty sure Kvyat will drive for them one more season at least. If Hartley performes close to Gasly I think they can pick Hartley for next season, there’s no other reason for this kind of arrangement.

      3. I doubt Hartley is any better.

        I’d still bet on a Kvyat/Gasly pairing next year.

        1. @paeschli Curious to see the outcome! I’m putting my money on Gasly/Hartley for 2018!

      4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        24th October 2017, 14:02

        @keithcollantine Is Kvyat out for the whole season or just Mexico?

        If it’s just Mexico, then I wouldn’t expect any kind of appreciation like a farewell. Toro Rosso have been spoilt in having 2 excellent drivers in Max and Carlos over the past 3 years. Now that Sainz has left, they need to replace one driver at least and we shouldn’t forget that Toro Rosso has a history of replacing both drivers at the same time.

        At least Kvyat is not 100% out but at the same time, they are trying out replacement drivers while he’s with the team which is never a good thing especially for the other driver’s morale.

        The team hasn’t really said anything negative about him at least.

        Look at Grosjean – he’s hauling in points for Haas and they are telling him to shut up during the race :-)

    6. If they’re genuinely considering Hartley for next year then giving him more than one race makes sense. The fact they only confirmed this lineup for Mexico implies Kvyat could still be retained. I can’t think who else they’d get, within the Red Bull fold that is.

      1. For me this lineup confirms Kvyat for 2018.

        1. Yeah. Mexico would be more of a shootout between the two. Perhaps the shootout could be a best of three. Winner gets a seat at STR, loser/runner-up gets to be STR’s reserve driver for the next season.

        2. So the question is do Red Bull or STR want to continue paying Kvyat or not? If they don’t then officially there are still seats available at Williams and at Sauber. If STR and Red Bull want to keep him on then he needs to insist on being paid regardless of whether he drives or not. I can’t see the accountants liking the prospect of paying someone to be idle, so they would make sure that if he is paid then he has to drive in some sort of capacity.

    7. Toro Rosso has benchmarked both Gasly and Hartley against a known driver. Now they will be tested against eachother. Only reason: to find out who’s best, and that’s only of interest if only one of them gets a seat for next year, rather than both. Kvyat might get signed for 2018 based on his experience and current level of performance which the others have yet to reach.

      1. Indeed, and something tells me gasly is better, he was closer to sainz than hartley was to kvyat, and we know how kvyat and sainz compare.

    8. The only reason I don’t feel particularly bad about Kvyat is his attitude. He’s often acted & spoken with this air of arrogance and entitlement & has been rather unapologetic when he’s clearly been at fault. He’s also been very erratic & crash prone at times (and ever unrepentant). It’s obvious Helmut doesn’t think much of him anymore.

      1. In terms of attitude when mistakes happen, I think Sainz and Kvyat are both as bad. They’ve both ah incidents wher they’ve said soemthing along the lines of “sorry guys, so sorry”. And they have both said very unreasonable things to. Sainz’s reaction to his Stroll clash was ridiculous. And the commentators thought his comment after he spun himself in Baku was unreasonable too. Sain’z is clearly the betetr driver, but they both ahve big attitude problems. As does Grosjean, Magnussen, Verstappen, Vettel and loads of others. Drivers like Hamilton, Bottas, Hulkenberg and Massa sound much more professional on the radio. There are a few others as well, but in terms of Attitude problems, I don’t think Kvyat is the only one who is bad in this area.

    9. Fikri Harish (@)
      23rd October 2017, 18:28

      Wow, they don’t really care about scoring more points, do they?
      Renault is definitely going to overtake them in the Constructors and with a little luck, Haas just might too.

      1. Not that important to them at this stage.
        They will get free engines from Honda. Plus 100 mil. That’s around 180mil difference which will make Toro Roso major player next season.

        1. I don’t think they are getting the “100 mil” that McLaren got to pay for Alonso etc. They’re probably just getting free engines……if that!

    10. Meanwhile in Russian news ” Torpedo dropped in Mexico “

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        23rd October 2017, 18:52

        Alonso approves

      2. Trump will like this headline.

    11. I really don’t understand why people feel sorry for Kvyat or feel he deserves another year.

      Red Bull (or should I say Aston Martin) have a lot of questions moving forward with their drivers. With Ricciardo set to leave at the end of next year (pending performance) they need to develop one of their drivers to make the step up to push Verstappen.

      That driver is never going to be Kvyat, so there is absolutely no logical reason to keep him around.

      1. Personally I think, other than Ricciardo, Vettel, and Verstappen, the best driver to have gone through the Red Bull driver program is Jean Eric Vergne. If they had kept him on the sidelines in F1 they would have a perfect replacement if Ricciardo leaves. I always felt that it was a huge mistake to get rid of him.

        Putting Gasly or Hartley in the car and straight to Red Bull after one year could end up being a repeat of Kvyat if they aren’t ready. Max Verstappen was exceptional but the chances of getting another Verstappen is basically nil.

        However, if Ricciardo leaves there’s a fair chance Sainz could get the promotion, with him still being part of Red Bull for this next year

        1. I would suggest that if Ricciardo leaves it is guaranteed that Sainz will be promoted.

    12. After the race I thought Kvyat might just have a chance of saving his F1 career if he can string three more performances like the one we saw yesterday, after today’s news, maybe not so much.

      Can’t say I’ve been impressed by him this season, but seems a bit unnecessary to constantly have him in and out of the seat for these final few races.

    13. I think this is pretty shabby treatment by Torro Rosso to be honest. Kvyat performed pretty well this weekend although his performances are quite erratic. I hope they are only doing this to decide on which of Gasly and Hartley they want to put alongside him next year.

      If they really don’t want Kvyat they should make this transparent and tell him so instead of messing him around.

      1. I agree, and shabby treatment from Toro Rosso is nothing new unfortunately

    14. Hartley didn’t exactly set the track on fire in Austin. But I suppose his data must show some massive potential. Or STR is just being STR and shuffling around drivers out of boredom or malice. Not saying Kyvat deserves a seat, because he is petulant and mediocre. But there are lots of competent people about with solid work in single-seaters if they need a warm body.

    15. I don’t think either Gasly or Hartley will be better than Kvyat instantly. One of Gasly’s races that he’s had looked very slow. He was cautious, but his performance certainly wan’t impressive. Hartley was nowhere compared to Kvyat this race. 28 -30 seconds behind in the end. I know he started right near the back, but when this has been the case for Kvyat, he’s usually been within 10 seconds of Sainz. I know it is his first race, but they clearly are just testing the drivers abilities now. Having Kvyat as one of the drivers for the rest of the season no doubt will make the team stronger than they will be next race. I’d say it should be Kvyat/Gasly next year. But whichever 2 drivers it turns out to be, they will almost definitely be better sticking with Kvyat as the lead driver. He has experience and he’s still young. He could turn around and have an even better season than he had in 2015. You never know. But treating him the way the team are at the moment seems very unreasonable. But he seems to be dealing with it all reasonably well.

      1. You only looking at the end though, and not the relevant data. Remember BH has not raced an F1 car, yet he did the whole weekend without incident.
        He also was one of fastest in the last 18 laps and his fastest lap time was 1 second quicker than kyvat.
        Once BH got used to the car and tyres, his limitation was the car, not him.

    16. People can complain about Kvyat’s attitude and driving all they want but, no one should be treated like that by his team.

      They’ve crossed a line with this one. What a joke this team is becoming.

      1. And next year they deliver the punchline in 10-12 power unit phrases

    17. I don’t see what was so great about Kvyat’s race in Austin. He started 11th, and then finished 10th after two drivers ahead of him pulled out. His post race interview to me sounded like a desperate attempt at spinning the facts, taking the Trump approach of simply saying what you want people to think rather than worrying about the actual facts.

    18. They already know what to expect out of Kvyat even if it is inconsistency.

      Seems logical to see what Gasly and Hartley can do over more races. If they perform with consistency and show a level of steady improvement they will certainly have a chance to be on the team for 2018.

      It’s obvious that STR have no concern over Kvyat’s input at this point. Looks like he is already halfway out the door.

    19. Kvyat demoted? Time to put Max Verstappen for the win in the predictions!

    20. I’m quite surprised and I reckon that’s it for Kvyat’s time at Toro Rosso, unless they decide Hartley doesn’t prove enough by the end of this year.

      I do feel sorry for Kvyat. He was promoted to Red Bull clearly before he was ready, and did an okay job, even if not brilliant, and since then it’s just been demotion after demotion.

      Does this make it one of the most inexperienced late-season lineups in history I wonder.

      1. If the Honda engine doesn’t improve next year it doesn’t really matter who they have driving. People have mentioned RIC leaving RB after 2018 but where will he go exactly? Merc or Ferrari will be the only teams worth going to that won’t be a step down, I guess there’s hoping BOT or RAI don’t get another year extension for 2019.

    21. So, Gasly will replace Hartley (who replaced Gasly (who replaced Kvyat))? And Hartley will replace Kvyat (who replaced Sainz)?
      Or will Hartley keep replacing Gasly (who replaced Kvyat), while Gasly replaces Kvyat (who replaced Sainz)?

      Either way, one of them will have to use a different engine components allotment than the one previously used.

      1. That’s already the 4th different lineup in 5 races, if I’m not mistaken. They’re making it terribly hard to keep track of their drivers. And they’re effectively giving away 6th place in the constructors championship:
        Renault won’t have too much trouble outscoring them, now that they’re finally fielding two cars. Haas might follow suit if they get their act together.
        As for Hartley and Gasly – it’s difficult to judge rookies who have a combined experience of no more than 3 races in F1, and they’ve done O.K. so far. But just O.K. There’s a steep learning curve ahead of them, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they end up scoring zero points for the rest of the season.

    22. Kvyat shows nothing to race fans or his race team. Always sounding like he has a mouth full of sour grapes, he acts like he is being screwed over again and again with it always being someone elses problem. You can have a bad day and on that day you can look and sound irratated. In the end most adults grow weary of somebody constantly bitching. I think the team, the fans and media are all tired of this Russian cry baby complainer. Face the facts you didn’t make it in F1 and now you need to go away especially when you see how Brendon Hartley spends one weekend with the team and gets your seat. Too bad for Kvyat especially after having been given the opportunity.

      1. Ah but he is being screwed over again and again isn’t he? There is only a thread of hope for him to get into Ricciardo’s car if/when he leaves. I hope he hangs on to it and does well in the chances he gets. But, that is some horrible, utterly horrible treatment from Red Bull.

    23. based on BH lap times in the last 18 laps and his best lap time, I’d put him down as being a serious contender for Kyvat’s seat. If BH can come up with some sponsorship to bring to the team, I think he could be in for a drive.

    24. I think Brendon Hartley deserves it. I thought he did fantastic first time in the car. Kept it clean and deserves the next race.

    25. Now I Think I know why they sack KVY…they will have to hire one japaneese driver next season as a part of the Honda deal. Therefore the are testing who should have the seat left by SAI next season by giving them both the chance..If they not are going to sign with RIC in 2018 it makes sense to have KVY as a reserve. If RIC goes to Ferrari in 2019 they still have 3 drivers to choose from – as KVY will be their reserve driver in RB….

    26. Okay, so this article in motorsport magazine by Mark Hughes does shed some light on how good Hartley probably was.

    27. You only looking at the end though, and not the relevant data. Remember BH has not raced an F1 car, yet he did the whole weekend without incident.
      He also was one of fastest in the last 18 laps and his fastest lap time was 1 second quicker than kyvat.
      Once BH got used to the car and tyres, his limitation was the car, not him.

    28. This is certainly sad for Kvyat, but IMO a single point scored in your last chance isn’t enough to save your seat since your performances during the whole season weren’t so great.

      As for Brendon, i’m really happy that TR is giving him another shot. His debut may not look good, but consider that he only had the opportunity to set foot in the garage and to drive the STR12 only this weekend. It should not have been easy for him.

    Comments are closed.