Date: 19th November 2017 at 8:41am
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After naming four drivers in 2017, Toro Rosso have named their initial driver line-up for 2018.

Who knows if they both will see out the entire 2018 Formula One World Championship, but having started 2017 with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat they will end it with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.

And it is Gasly and Hartley who will stay in place for 2018.

The reason behind the change began with Carlos Sainz when he made the move on loan from Toro Rosso early to join Renault, replacing British Formula One racer Jolyon Palmer.

That saw 21-year-old Gasly get the nod for promotion, but when he missed a Formula One weekend in a bid to secure the Super Formula Championship in Japan [which in the end never took place], there was a shock call-up for former reserve driver Brendon Hartley.

The 27-year-old came through the Red Bull Racing development programme completing one test for Red Bull in 2008 whilst being named as reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

He however was dropped by the Red Bull Racing stable in 2010, since then he has been competing in the World Endurance Championship [WEC] with Porsche, winning this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

It seems he has impressed so much that he will now permanently replace Daniil Kvyat.

‘We’re really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018,’ Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told Sky Sports.

‘During this last part of the year they’ve shown that they’re ready for Formula 1, getting to grips with the car quickly, showing good performances and always demonstrating to be prepared for the challenge.

‘We have been truly impressed by both their steep learning curves.

‘I’m sure they will keep pushing hard and fight for strong results, together with the team.’