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Hartley keeps Toro Rosso F1 seat for Mexico, Kvyat dropped again

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Brendon Hartley will remain with Scuderia Toro Rosso for this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix after a solid Formula 1 debut in Austin on Sunday, with Daniil Kvyat being dropped once again.

Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to race in the United States Grand Prix after Pierre Gasly was ruled out due to a clash with Super Formula at Suzuka.

Kvyat returned after two races on the bench following Carlos Sainz Jr.’s move up to Renault, taking P10, with neither driver being clear on what future plans were for the final three races of the season.

In a short release on Monday, Toro Rosso confirmed that Gasly would return to his seat for Mexico, with Hartley being retained.

Hartley finished 13th on debut for Toro Rosso in his maiden single-seater race for over five years, having only driven the team’s STR12 F1 car for the first time in Friday practice.

The New Zealander is free to race in all of the remaining three grands prix this season due to the lack of clashes with his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments with Porsche.

Were he to finish the year with Toro Rosso, though, it would form a seven-week run of consecutive races for Hartley between F1 and WEC.

The team is unable to field any new drivers this year after already hitting the season limit of four, with Kvyat originally being planned to see out the year with Gasly before the Super Formula issue arose.

Hartley’s presence adds momentum to him being in contention for a 2018 F1 seat with the team, while Kvyat’s latest demotion could mark the end of his time under Red Bull’s umbrella.

The Russian called his weekend in Austin “perfect” as he took one point for P10 following two races out and missing FP1, but it was not enough to convince Toro Rosso to keep him in the seat for Mexico.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”