Pressure mounts on underperforming Hartley as Toro Rosso announce new signing for 2019 F1 season

Toro Rosso says Daniil Kvyat will return to the Formula One grid in 2019.

The Russian driver replaces Pierre Gasly, who moves up to the main Red Bull team for 2019. Gasly earlier replaced Kvyat at Toro Rosso part-way through the 2017 season.

Kvyat started out in F1 with Toro Rosso back in 2014 before a promotion to Red Bull, but was demoted back to Toro Rosso in early 2016 following disappointing results before losing his race seat entirely.

Kvyat says "I will give my best to deliver what the team expects from me and I can't wait for everything to start again."

It's not yet clear who'll partner Kvyat at Toro Rosso in 2019 since the team hasn't confirmed New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley will stay.

Hartley was recently told by his team he needed to improve in the second half of 2018 or risk losing his seat.

"There has to be a big improvement in the last few races of the season," Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko told Speedweek.

"For 2019 there is no shortlist, but a long list. There are 10 names on there, one with a contract at Mercedes, which is why it probably won't be him.

"But everything is possible."

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley of New Zealand pulls his helmet on during the first practice session at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Friday, March 23, 2018. The first race of the 2018 seasons is on Sunday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Brendon Hartley. Source: Associated Press