Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost is expecting Red Bull management to make a decision on the who will partner Daniil Kvyat in the junior team next year while confirming that Brendon Hartley needs to up his game to stand a chance of a second full season in Formula 1.
Speaking to reporters in Mexico, Tost said, “You have to finish the season to get a clear picture. In December Red Bull will decide the driver line-up of Toro Rosso.”
Red Bull consigliere Helmut Marko warned Hartley last month that he needed to beat Pierre Gasly in remaining races to keep his seat and Tist believes that the New Zealander delivered last weekend.
“He showed a good race in Austin but nevertheless if you look to the results he has four points, Pierre has 28 points. It means he has to improve his performance if he wants to stay in the team,” added the Austrian.
While several drivers have been linked to one of the last seats left on the grid for next year, Thai driver Alexander Albon has emerged as a favourite thanks to a spate of strong performances late in the Formula 2 season which sees him heading to the season finale in at Yas Marina Circuit in November.
Meanwhile, Albon was reportedly poached at the last moment by Red Bull from a three-year Formula E programme with Nissan e.dams so that the 22-year-old can step up to F1 with Toro Rosso.
Tost confirmed there was contact with Albon’s minders, “Negotiations are confidential. I can’t give you any details about this.”