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F1 US GP: Horner explains why STR chose Kvyat over Gasly

Christian Horner gives the reasons for Red Bull's decision to retain Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso rather than promote its junior Pierre Gasly.
United States Grand Prix – Qualifying results

Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull felt 'it was right' to give Daniil Kvyat another season in Scuderia Toro Rosso rather than promote its junior driver Pierre Gasly to F1.

Kvyat has endured an eventful 2016 season, which began with him racing for Red Bull before being demoted to Toro Rosso in favour of Max Verstappen.

With only two top ten finishes in the 13 races since the driver swap, Red Bull had been tipped to choose GP2 title contender Gasly over the Russian when deciding Toro Rosso's driver line-up for the 2017 season.

Ahead of the United States Grand Prix, however, Toro Rosso confirmed Kvyat will stay alongside Carlos Sainz in an unchanged driver line-up having felt he is returning to his best form following a noticeable dip in confidence in the wake of his replacement by Verstappen.

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“It is quite simple really, Dany Kvyat is a good young driver,” Horner told Sky F1. “He has had a tough time this year and that has been tough for him. He is addressing some of the issues he had a problem with earlier in the year and he is finding his confidence again. We felt at 21 years of age it was right to give him another opportunity in the Toro Rosso against Carlos Sainz and I think he will benefit from that.

The decision, however, casts doubt on whether the overlooked Gasly will stay with Red Bull. The Frenchman is currently in the hunt for the GP2 Series title and has conducted the majority of Red Bull's 2017 tyre evaluations, but while Horner says he would be pleased if the youngster remained on board, he suggests he could be released to other opportunities.

“We felt it was better to give Daniil that seat rather than award it to Pierre at this point, who we still rate highly and who is an important part of the team conducting important test and development work for us. But there are only so many cockpits for our drivers.”

“It is a possibility [to drive for another team] if the right opportunity came up for him we would consider releasing him from that if he can dovetail it with some of the work he is doing for us.”



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