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Red Bull to make Hartley decision in December - Tost

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Red Bull to make Hartley decision in December - Tost
By:
Oct 26, 2018, 6:35 PM

Toro Rosso Formula 1 team boss Franz Tost expects parent company Red Bull to name Daniil Kvyat's 2019 teammate no earlier than December.

Kvyat has been recalled to replace the Red Bull Racing-bound Pierre Gasly at Toro Rosso for the next year, but the team is yet to confirm who will take the second seat.

Incumbent Brendon Hartley scored his best-ever finish in F1 last weekend in Austin, taking ninth place after disqualifications for Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen.

But while the Kiwi has insisted he's done enough against teammate Gasly to warrant a 2019 drive, Red Bull has been exploring other options – and remains in negotiations with the Nissan Formula E squad over its preferred candidate Alex Albon.

Speaking ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, Tost suggested Red Bull would wait until the end of the current F1 campaign – which concludes in late November – before firming up the Toro Rosso 2019 roster.

“You have to finish the season to get a clear picture,” Tost said. “In December Red Bull will decide the driver line-up of Toro Rosso.”

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko stated last month that Hartley needed to be beating Gasly to be retained – and while the Kiwi did just that in the US GP, Tost stressed he had to build on that result.

“He showed a good race in Austin but nevertheless if you look to the results he has four points, Pierre has 28 points,” Tost said.

“It means he has to improve his performance if he wants to stay in the team.”

The DAMS team that runs Nissan's Formula E operation has last week expressed its frustration over Red Bull's approach for Albon, but is also already evaluating potential replacements.

The Formula E season kicks off in Saudi Arabia on December 15.

Asked for an update on the negotiations over Albon, Tost confirmed they were still ongoing before saying: “Negotiations are confidential. I can’t give you any details about this.”

Additional reporting by Scott Mitchell

Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 and Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 and Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Photo by: Manuel Goria / Sutton Images

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Series Formula 1
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy