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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly to have early 'problems' at Red Bull predicts Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost

The Austrian, who has managed both drivers in F1, believes they will work together eventually but there could be drama in the early 2019 races

Max Verstappen will have Pierre Gasly as his teammate at Red Bull Racing in 2019. AP Photo
Max Verstappen will have Pierre Gasly as his teammate at Red Bull Racing in 2019. AP Photo

Max Verstappen will have Pierre Gasly as his new teammate at Red Bull Racing in 2019 and the man who has worked with both drivers believes there could be some early "problems" in their relationship.

Franz Tost, the team principal of Toro Rosso, has had Gasly drive for his team this season in Formula One. He has also had Verstappen race for him in 2015 and the first four races of 2016.

The pair have both proven to be very quick in their time in F1 but have demonstrated volatile moments along the way and have each had dramas with respective teammates in the past.

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Tost is expecting some early tension between the pair in the opening races of next season as they both try and establish superiority over each other, but is confident, from his experience of the duo, that they will quickly form a good relationship in the end.

"I expect it will be a good partnership," Tost said in Abu Dhabi. "Both drivers want to be successful and there will also be earlier or later problems over there [at Red Bull] during a race.

"But that is normal in Formula One. Drivers are fighting for positions and both driver want to have success. But I expect, as both drivers are professional, they will sort it out in the best possible way."

Toro Rosso are a sister team of Red Bull, with both teams owned by Dietrich Mateschitz, the majority shareholder of the international energy drinks company.

Gasly is the latest driver to be promoted from Toro Rosso to the race-winning Red Bull operation and Tost is pleased for the Frenchman, who had two top-six finishes in Bahrain and Hungary for the team in 2018.

"Pierre is really doing a good job," he said. "He improved a lot as the season went on and I am really happy with him."

Daniil Kvyat, who will return for a third stint with the team, and Formula 2 runner-up Alexander Albon will drive for the team in 2019.

Kvyat has had a rather chequered time in F1 so far. After a season with Toro Rosso in 2014 he moved to Red Bull in 2015, but was sent back to the Italian team in 2016 to be replaced by Verstappen after several incidents.

He struggled in 2017 at Toro Rosso and was released before the end of the year, but the Russian is now back and Tost expects better things this time around for the 24 year old.

"I think in the past there have been some mistakes," he said. "From GP3 to come to Formula One I think was OK, but maybe to go to Red Bull Racing was a bit too early because he had only done one season with us.

"Now he is much more mature, he knows the team and if the team provides him with a competitive car then he will be there, I promise you."