Franz Tost admits his Scuderia Toro Rosso outfit running with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley is preparation for the 2018 Formula 1 season, with those two set to be the teams line-up next season.
Gasly made his Formula 1 debut in the Malaysian Grand Prix in place of the now dropped Daniil Kvyat, while Hartley joined the team ahead of the United States Grand Prix thanks to Carlos Sainz Jr. moving to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, and Tost, team principal of the Faenza-based team, says the Frenchman and the New Zealander are likely to form Toro Rosso’s line-up for next year.
“Because both are Red Bull drivers, both are highly skilled drivers,” said Tost during the official FIA Press Conference in Mexico.
“We want to test them for the rest of the season as there is a high possibility this will be the driver line-up for 2018.”
Tost is pleased to have Hartley racing in his team, and after a positive debut weekend at the Circuit of The Americas having not previously tested the car, nor raced a single seater since 2012 having concentrated on racing in sportscars since then, he has the potential to be a standout driver, who could fight at the front of the field with a competitive car.
“Brendon is a very high-skilled driver, he is very competitive,” insisted Tost. “I am really happy that he is back and I can tell you we give him a competitive car, he will be there and he will fight in F1 for success.
“I hope next year we will bring together a competitive package that he can fight for victories and other positions [with].”