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‘All open’ for Kvyat to make Toro Rosso F1 return

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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.”

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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