Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost has confirmed that Daniil Kvyat is no longer a part of Red Bull’s program, with Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly poised to race for the junior squad next year.
Kvyat was dropped from his Toro Rosso seat after Singapore to make way for GP2 champion Pierre Gasly, but returned after two races out in the United States Grand Prix last weekend.
Despite originally planning to field Gasly and Kvyat to the end of the season, the latter was shuffled out for Mexico following Porsche LMP1 driver Brendon Hartley’s surprise debut in Austin and confirmation for the remainder of the year.
Speaking in Friday’s FIA press conference in Mexico, Tost confirmed that Kvyat was now free to explore racing options outside of the Red Bull program following his dismissal.
“He is not with Red Bull anymore, and definitely free to decide whatever he wants to do,” Tost said.
“He is not with Toro Rosso or Red Bull anymore.”
Tost also confirmed that Toro Rosso was closing in on confirming Gasly and Hartley as its full-time drivers for 2018, with the pair set to complete the season together.
“Both are Red Bull drivers, both are high skill drivers, fast drivers. I want to test them for the rest of the season,” Tost said.
“There’s a high possibility this will be the driver line-up for 2018.”
McLaren Formula One drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris are taking pay cuts, while the team is furloughing other employees as part of protective cost-cutting during the coronavirus pandemic.
With F1 racing suspended, McLaren said both drivers and senior management, including chief executive Zak Brown, all agreed to voluntary pay decreases. No figure was given, but McLaren said the percentage of the cut is the same for all employees who are not furloughed.
McLaren said in an email that “these measures are focused on protecting jobs in the short term to ensure our employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers.”
Sainz Jr. tweeted his support, saying “I fully understand these tough decisions and I have obviously decided to take a pay cut. We are all in this together.”
The first eight races of the 22-race campaign have been called off because of the virus. The season-opening Australian GP and the showpiece Monaco GP have been canceled, while the others might be rescheduled.
There is no date set for when the season might start, with the Canadian GP the next scheduled race on the disrupted calendar on June 14.
The season is scheduled to finish with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but F1 organizers previously said they anticipated that “the season end date will extend beyond our original end date.”
To further save costs and potentially gain time, engine manufacturers and teams are observing a three-week factory shutdown period. It normally would have been two weeks and would have taken place during the midseason summer break.