Horner: "Extremely unlikely" for Toro Rosso to have non-Red Bull driver in 2020

22-10-2019 15:40
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Horner: Extremely unlikely for Toro Rosso to have non-Red Bull driver in 2020

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has insisted the seats at Toro Rosso will most likely be occupied by drivers from the Bulls' junior program, as the Brit says it's "very unlikely" they will look elsewhere.

Toro Rosso has always served as a diving board for Red Bull junior drivers to potentially get promoted to the senior team, with the development team being used to get Red Bull talents' feet wet in F1. Some young drivers like Max Verstappen or Alexander Albon adapt very quickly to the sport and thrive in F1 cars.

Others struggle in the high-pressure environment and get subsequently get axed, with Toro Rosso being notoriously hard when it comes to dropping drivers when performances are sub-par.

At Suzuka, a non-Red Bull driver took the wheel behind one of the STR14's as Naoki Yamamoto completed FP1 in front of his home crowd, but Horner was quick to shut down the potential permanent appointment of the reigning Super Formula champion.

"He is not a member of the Red Bull junior team," he was quoted by Autosport.com.

"He was invited to drive the car [at Suzuka] and has done a very good job, but he is not a driver that is under consideration for the main team, and the main purpose of Toro Rosso is to provide options for the seats at Red Bull.

"Ultimately nothing is totally fixed for next season but it would be extremely unlikely to look outside the pool of drivers that we currently have."

Current Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat seem to be favourites to retain their seats for 2020, although with drivers like Nico Hulkenberg being available, a switch in the line-up shouldn't be ruled out.

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