Pierre Gasly has replaced Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso driver line-up for the Malaysian Grand Prix and potentially the Japanese race at Suzuka.

The French driver has landed his opportunity after impressing in his rookie Super Formula campaign in Japan, while Kvyat has under-delivered for the Italian team in 2017, which has seen Toro Rosso offer Gasly his F1 race debut at the Sepang International Circuit this weekend.

Depending on Gasly’s performance in Malaysia this weekend he could retain his spot for next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix before returning to the Super Formula championship with its season finale double-header at Suzuka clashing with the F1 United States Grand Prix. Gasly, who clinched the 2016 GP2 Series title, is half a point off Super Formula championship leader Hiroaki Ishiura.

Gasly is relishing his opportunity with Toro Rosso and is keen to impress ahead of his expected graduation into the team on a full-time basis for 2018.

"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,” Gasly said. “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."

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has explained the decision to switch in Gasly for Kvyat as ‘an opportunity to make a more informed decision regarding our 2018 driver choices’ – while feels the Russian driver has underdelivered in 2017 with just four points scored so far this season compared to team-mate Carlos Sainz’s 48 points.

"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,” Tost said. “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."

Gasly will partner Sainz at Toro Rosso for the Malaysian Grand Prix having tested for Red Bull Racing during both in-season tests in Bahrain and Hungary earlier this year.



Loading Comments...