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Marko: We have a list of ten drivers for Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso will take their time on deciding their 2019 Formula 1 driver line-up as they give Brendon Hartley seven races to up his game before making a decision on him and they also have the task of filling the seat left open by Pierre Gasly’s promotion to Red Bull – apparently, there are many candidates.

Relative to Gasly, Hartley has underperformed considerably and indeed there was a time before the summer break when it seemed he would lose his drive before the season ended. In Italy, on Sunday his race lasted a little more hundred meters as he crashed out at the start.

With regards to Hartley, Marko warned, “There should be a significant improvement by him in his performances at the remaining races.”

Gasly has been one of the outstanding rookies of the season, his promotion to partner Max Verstappen a well-deserved reward for his performances in the Red Bull junior team.

As a result, a much-coveted seat or two may be available with the Faenza based squad and according to Marko, there is no shortage of candidates, “For 2019 there is no shortlist for Toro Rosso, but rather a long list of drivers. There are ten names on it.”

But added somewhat cryptically, “But I can already inform you that it is unlikely to be a driver associated with Mercedes… However, anything is possible in F1.”

One can strike Lando Norris off that list now that McLaren have him hooked after sniffing Red Bull approaches, while the other nine are likely to include the likes of Esteban Ocon, Stoffel Vandoorne, Jean-Eric Vergne, Sebastien Buemi and recent addition Daniil Kvyat.

Big Question: Who should Toro Rosso pick to drive for them in 2019?