Pierre Gasly will take Daniil Kvyat's place at Toro Rosso for the next Grand Prix. While speculation was widespread that Carlos Sainz would be set for an early move to Renault, it is now Kvyat who will have to make room for the upcoming talent.
While it is unclear yet for how many races Gasly will be in the Toro Rosso, the switch enabled the team to evaluate their options for 2018 as it seeks to fill the seat vacated by Carlos Sainz. Kvyat is however expected to return at the US Grand Prix, as that coincides with the season finale in Super Formula, the series in which Gasly is currently competing.
Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal: "Scuderia Toro Rosso was established by Red Bull to bring youngsters from its Junior Programme into Formula 1 and that's what we are doing by giving Pierre this chance. He is the next in line at Red Bull for this opportunity and he has shown that he deserves it, having taken the 2016 GP2 title and this year being very competitive in the Super Formula series in Japan. He really has a valid chance of winning the title, as he is only half a point behind the leader. The driver switch gives us an opportunity to make a more informed decision regarding our 2018 driver choices. For a variety of reasons, some of them due to technical problems, but others being mistakes of his own making, Daniil Kvyat has not really shown his true potential so far this year, which is why we are standing him down for the next races. This will give us the opportunity to evaluate Pierre on track during a proper race weekend."
Indeed, Kvyat is struggling through a difficult season in which he scored just 4 points so far, compared to 48 for his team mate Carlos Sainz. The team statement however confirmed that "this is not a goodbye to Daniil, as he still remains a part of the Red Bull family".
Pierre Gasly: "I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get this chance in my motor racing career and specifically, Red Bull, Dr. Helmut Marko and Scuderia Toro Rosso...this is a great opportunity for me. I feel as ready as I can be, having had to be prepared for anything in my role as Red Bull Racing's third driver this year. I will do my best to perform well with Scuderia Toro Rosso during these coming races."
Gasly, one of the Red Bull Junior Programme drivers, has been racing in Japan this year in the Super Formula category. The 2016 GP2 Champion finished second in last Sunday's race, having won the two previous rounds. The 21 year old will therefore get his chance to prove himself in F1.