Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost says it is “all open” for Daniil Kvyat to return to a race seat with the team in the future despite being dropped for Malaysia.
Less than 18 months after being demoted from Red Bull back to junior team Toro Rosso, Kvyat was replaced by Pierre Gasly for the races in Malaysia and Japan after a poor run of form that had seen him score just four points so far this season.
It is unknown how many of the four races after Japan Gasly will contest, with the United States Grand Prix clashing with his planned Super Formula title showdown at Suzuka, leaving the door open for Kvyat to return.
“It is all open,” Tost told the official F1 website when asked about Kvyat’s comeback chances.
“He is still a Red Bull driver and has a valid contract.”
Red Bull has no other junior drivers on its books that are ready to race in F1, and with Carlos Sainz Jr. bound for Renault, a Gasly-Kvyat line-up seems the most likely solution.
Tost stressed that no decision had been taken, with Gasly’s late-season appearances intended to be a test to see how he fares in F1.
“We don’t know [about the line-up] yet. That is why Red Bull decided to run Pierre Gasly, to see where his real performance is,” Tost said.
“After we get a picture of this Red Bull will decide.
“Yes, there is nobody else from our junior programme [besides Gasly]. But let’s see.”
Car No.: 20
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 14th
Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.
For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.
Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.
Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.
Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.
That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.
The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.
Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.
Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.