Column 2017 October 16

Only four races left to finish the 2017 season of Formula 1. But there are still changes in the grid of drivers. Carlos Sainz has already seen the colors of Renault, his new team. His substitute Pierre Gasly will not be able to attend the next meeting of the championship. The French driver will go to the last round of the Super Formula Japan, where he will try to get the title. For this reason the team Toro Rosso needed another substitute, the chosen driver has been Brendon Hartley. The 27-year-old New Zealand driver was a reserve for the Red Bull team in 2009 and 2010, but never made it to Formula 1 debut. So his debut will be at the next Austin event. Hartley is an official driver of Porsche, with them he won the World Championship of Resistance in 2015. It will also be the first time a New Zealander has raced in Formula 1 since Mike Thackwell in 1984. Hartley’s return to Formula 1 was a real surprise because it seemed that Sebastian Buemi and Sean Gelael were the drivers with more options to take the place of Gasly in Austin. Finally it was Hartley who has won the position after being confirmed by Toro Rosso.

Daniil Kvyat will also get back into Toro Rosso’s car. The position of the Russian driver was occupied by Gasly in the last Grand Prix. Therefore with the departure of Sainz to Renault and Gasly to Super Formula, Toro Rosso will have a new pair of drivers.

While the future of some drivers remains an unknown.  The driver of McLaren Honda, Fernando Alonso has still not revealed his future for next season. While McLaren could already have a substitute; Lando Norris, the young champion of European Formula 3. By winning this competition, the driver already has enough points for the Formula 1 super-license. The British driver is likely to be McLaren’s reserve driver next season, said Eric Boullier, race director for the British team. Therefore it would be nonsense to think that he could be an option if Alonso decides not to renew with McLaren. While Jenson Button could see how he loses his reserve position for the British team, Boullier said Button wants a full-time position and that the McLaren team could not give it to him.

The British driver retired from Formula 1 last year, but has remained as third driver for McLaren. He replaced Alonso in the Monaco Grand Prix, when the Spaniard participated in the Indycar.