PARIS (AFP) - Toro Rosso are to keep faith with rookie pair of Frenchman Pierre Gasly and New Zealander Brendon Hartley for next season, the Formula One team said on Thursday (Nov 16).
"Next week's Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi will be Pierre's fifth Formula 1 weekend and Brendon's fourth, gaining vital experience in order to start the 2018 season," the team said.
"We're really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018," Team Principal Franz Tost confirmed.
Frenchman Gasly, just 21, was delighted with his breakthrough season and already aiming to do better next year.
"I'm really excited and super motivated to give it my all in Abu Dhabi and the whole of next year! I just can't wait," he said.
Hartley, the 28-year-old who has the air of a rock star and who won the Le Mans 24 Hours race this year, could hardly believe the news.
"Dreams can come true," said the former Porsche driver from the World Endurance Championships.
"Really amazing to be confirmed as a Formula 1 driver for next year with Toro Rosso.
"It's very satisfying to have converted an opportunity that came as a surprise into a 2018 F1 drive."
Toro Rosso started the season with Carlos Sainz Jr, who will race for Renault next season, and the Russian Danill Kvyat, who suffered a poor run.