Newly-appointed Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly says he feels sorry for Daniil Kvyat after replacing the Russian for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Toro Rosso confirmed on Tuesday that 2016 GP2 champion Gasly would make his F1 debut in Malaysia, with Kvyat benched after a difficult run of form that has seen him score just four points this year.
The decision was the second mid-season switch involving Kvyat in 18 months following his demotion from Red Bull to Toro Rosso last May, and Gasly admitted to feeling sympathy for his fellow junior.
“I haven’t had the chance to talk with him yet but, of course, unfortunately that’s how it works in this sport and I think he’s been in my position,” Gasly said.
“Before he came to F1 he was waiting for his chance and then he had to take the seat of someone else. Of course I feel sorry for him I think he is a really good driver and talented.
“For Daniil it’s happening that I’m going to take his seat, but I’m pretty sure we’ll see him back on the grid at some point maybe, and we’ll see what’s going to happen in the near future.”
Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.
The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.
“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”
In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.
VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.
A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.
NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.