Toro Rosso have confirmed Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will be their drivers for 2018.
The announcement leaves just Sauber and Williams to name their line-up for next season.
Gasly and Hartley had been expected to retain their seats for 2018, having been drafted into Toro Rosso following Carlos Sainz’s departure to Renault and Daniil Kvyat’s exit from the Red Bull driver programme.
2018 F1 driver line-ups Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Kimi Raikkonen Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo Max Verstappen Force India Sergio Perez Esteban Ocon Williams Lance Stroll TBC McLaren Stoffel Vandoorne Fernando Alonso Toro Rosso Pierre Gasly Brendon Hartley Haas Romain Grosjean Kevin Magnussen Renault Nico Hulkenberg Carlos Sainz Sauber TBC TBC
2016 GP2 champion Gasly made his debut for the Faenza-based team at the Malaysia GP, while World Endurance Championship champion Hartley made his F1 grand prix bow at the US GP.
“We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018,” said Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost.
“We have been truly impressed by both their steep learning curves.
“I’m sure they will keep pushing hard and fight for strong results, together with the team.”
The partnership of Gasly and Hartley was the fourth different line-up Toro Rosso fielded in 2017.
Toro Rosso’s driver line-up in 2017 Australia – Singapore Carlos Sainz Daniil Kvyat Malyasia & Japan GPs Carlos Sainz Pierre Gasly US GP Daniil Kvyat Brendon Hartley Mexico – Abu Dhabi Brendon Hartley Pierre Gasly
Having started the season with Kvyat and Sainz, the Russian was replaced by Gasly in Malaysia and Japan.
Kvyat returned at the US GP following Sainz’s early move to Renault, while Hartley was drafted in when Gasly was due to compete in the Super Formula season finale – an event which was then cancelled due to bad weather.
Gasly’s return saw Kvyat dropped permanently, and his partnership with Hartley will also be the fifth different driver line-up to start a season with Toro Rosso in the past six years.
“It’s very satisfying to have converted an opportunity that came as a surprise into a 2018 F1 drive, I couldn’t be happier,” said Hartley.
“I’d like to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for believing in me and giving me this second chance – dreams can come true.”
Gasly added: “I’m really excited and super motivated to give it my all in Abu Dhabi and the whole of next year! I just can’t wait!”
Toro Rosso’s line-up at start of season 2013 Daniel Ricciardo Jean-Eric Vergne 2014 Daniil Kvyat Jean-Eric Vergne 2015 Max Verstappen Carlos Sainz 2016 Max Verstappen Carlos Sainz 2017 Carlos Sainz Daniil Kvyat 2018 Brendon Hartley Pierre Gasly
Who will come out on top in the F1 2017 season finale and take the bragging rights into the winter? Don’t miss the Abu Dhabi GP live on Sky Sports F1 on November 26 – lights out for the race is at 1pm. Want to watch but not got Sky F1? Buy a NOW TV pass from £6.99!
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