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Gasly insists he’s ready for F1 chance amid Toro Rosso speculation

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RED HOOK, NY – Pierre Gasly feels he is ready to step up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso in the near future amid ongoing speculation about the Red Bull B-team’s driver plans for 2018.

Gasly won last year’s GP2 title before being sent to the Japanese Super Formula series by Red Bull for 2017 as it opted to continue with its existing Toro Rosso line-up of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat.

Despite Sainz’s reluctance to spend another year with Toro Rosso and ongoing questions about Kvyat’s future, recent reports have suggested Red Bull plans to keep both on for 2018.

Gasly remains relaxed about his future F1 chances, though, saying that things remain fluid and that nothing is official until it is announced.

“For me my target is still the same. At the moment nothing is signed in Toro Rosso,” Gasly told NBC Sports.

“Of course at the moment everyone is talking with everyone, and every week it’s changing. Until it will be official, I think everything is possible.

“Of course my targets stay the same after winning GP2 last year. I just feel like I am ready for F1. I will keep pushing until it happens.”

When asked if he would consider finding a drive outside of Red Bull’s umbrella for 2018 if no opportunity came, Gasly said: “At the moment I’m just focused on F1, and then after we will see in a couple of months what will happen for next year.”

Gasly made his Formula E debut in New York last weekend with Renault e.dams, deputizing for Sebastien Buemi, and recorded two top-10 finishes, including a run to fourth place on Sunday.

“It’s been really exciting, really busy as well since yesterday to learn all the procedures and get used to the car, it’s been a lot of hard work,” Gasly said of his debut outing.

“But I really enjoyed it overall. We managed to score points in both races, we managed to go into Super Pole this morning with the fastest lap of the weekend.

“It’s been really positive with close racing on-track. Both races were good fun. It’s been a good experience.”

Horner: Red Bull would consider ‘significant’ offers for Sainz

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Red Bull would consider releasing Carlos Sainz Jr. from his Formula 1 contract if the price was right as speculation about the Spaniard’s future continues to circulate the paddock.

Sainz said over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend that a fourth year with Toro Rosso in 2018, Red Bull’s B-team in F1, was unlikely, only for his bosses to snap back and confirm he remained under contract for next season.

With Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen locked in at Red Bull for the foreseeable future, Sainz appears to be stuck at Toro Rosso, leading to suggestions he could be set for a move up the grid.

A report in the German media over the Silverstone weekend even suggested he could be in line to replace Jolyon Palmer at Renault for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of the month, but Horner was quick to rebuff this.

“I don’t know where these rumors come from, but I cannot believe that these rumors are out there for the Hungarian race,” Horner said, as quoted by Reuters.

“Carlos Sainz has a contract with Red Bull Racing. There are two years left on that contract.

“If somebody was prepared to make an offer, of course, we’d consider it.”

However, Horner stressed that it would need to be an impressive offer given Red Bull’s investment in Sainz, having funded his career from Formula BMW right the way up to F1.

“It would have to have a significant value attached to it because we’ve invested in Carlos significantly,” Horner said.

“You’re not just going to give an asset away.”

Should Sainz depart Toro Rosso at the end of the season, 2016 GP2 champion Pierre Gasly, who currently races in Japan’s Super Formula series, is next in line on Red Bull’s junior program to get a shot in F1.

Sainz’s car passes F1 scrutineering at Silverstone, Toro Rosso cleared

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Scuderia Toro Rosso has been cleared of any wrongdoing after Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Formula 1 car passed scrutineering for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at the second attempt.

Toro Rosso was called before the stewards on Thursday at Silverstone after F1 technical delegate Jo Bauer deemed the No. 55 car to have been entered to the race weekend in an unsafe condition due to a problem with one of the wheel tethers.

Sainz took part in FP1 at Silverstone on Friday morning after the FIA stewards confirmed the damaged part had been replaced following discussions with the manufacturer.

“The stewards having received a report from the Technical Delegate (document 5) indicating that, from initial scrutineering of car no.55 (Scuderia Toro Rosso), it was found to have a damaged wheel tether tape,” a statement from the stewards reads.

“Having summoned and heard from the relevant team, Technical Delegate and after receiving a statement from the manufacturer of the tether in question, the facts are:

“1. The Car that was presented for initial scrutineering was not in compliance with the Regulations because: a. The protection of the fibers should not be damaged, as it was in this particular case; b. There were signs of dust, which could be brake dust, which is not good for the fibers; c. And the fibers in question had signs of wear.

“2. The Car therefore could not pass scrutineering until the relevant part had been replaced.

“3. The Stewards are satisfied that there was no intention by the team to mislead the scrutineers.

“4. The relevant part has since been voluntarily replaced by the team and the Car has passed scrutineering. An additional issue that the Stewards considered was the presence of knots within the tether.

“The Stewards were informed by the team and the relevant manufacturer that these were standard in tethers and have been duly tested for use and homologated with these knots present.

“FIA as part of its ongoing efforts to promote safety in motorsports will review the manufacturing process associated with these tethers.”

Toro Rosso reported to FIA stewards at Silverstone over unsafe car

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Scuderia Toro Rosso has been reported to the FIA stewards for attempting to enter an unsafe Formula 1 car to this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

In a communication issued by the FIA on Thursday afternoon after initial scrutineering, it was confirmed that the stewards would be investigating Toro Rosso after the team tried entering Carlos Sainz Jr.’s car in an “unsafe condition”.

“During initial scrutineering car number 55 was found to have a damaged wheel tether. The scrutineers made the team Scuderia Toro Rosso aware of this and asked the team to replace it,” a technical report from the FIA reads.

“The team refused to follow the instructions of the scrutineers and therefore the technical delegate checked the damaged tether himself and found that the tether was not only damaged but also several cut fibers were knotted together.

“Therefore the team was aware of the damage tether and presented the car in an unsafe condition for scrutineering.

“In my opinion, this is a breach of Article 3.3 of the 2017 Sporting Regulations and I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

 

Tost: Sainz’s F1 future to be decided by Red Bull

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Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost says that Carlos Sainz Jr. will have his 2018 plans decided by Red Bull as he remains under contract, despite the Spaniard’s claim that remaining with the team next year is “unlikely”.

Sainz made his F1 debut with Red Bull’s F1 B-team in 2015, and has put in some quietly impressive displays during his time in the sport to attract the attention of teams further up the grid.

Sainz said on Thursday in Austria that he felt a fourth year with Toro Rosso in 2018 was “unlikely”, targeting a seat with Red Bull’s senior team or elsewhere if one was not available.

The comments sparked an angry reaction in the British media from Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner in the British media, stressing that Sainz would still be racing for Toro Rosso next year.

Toro Rosso’s Tost shared Horner’s view, stressing in Friday’s FIA press conference that Sainz’s future was in Red Bull’s hands.

“This is not a decision of Carlos Sainz. He has a Red Bull contract and Red Bull decides what he will do in the future,” Tost said.

“I’m a little bit confused about this discussion at this stage of the year because Red Bull has paid and financed the complete career of Carlos Sainz.

They paid his Formula BMW season, Formula Renault, then Formula Three, GP3, 3.5 litre World Series and three years in Formula Three.

“Why should Red Bull give him away to any other opponent when they educated him to quite a high level? I think sometimes loyalty – also in Formula One – should play an important game.

“Once more, it’s a decision of Red Bull.”