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F1 Report: Should Toro Rosso drop Brendon Hartley for Lando Norris?

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Last Updated: 06/06/18 4:48pm

Should Toro Rosso drop Brendon Hartley from their driver stable so early into the season and replace him with McLaren junior Lando Norris?

That question is up for debate on this week’s F1 Report – after reports suggested Toro Rosso had asked McLaren about loaning their teenage driver, currently on top of the F2 championship, for the rest of the season.

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That request was rejected by McLaren, but still paints a dark cloud of Brendon Hartley’s future with the team he only joined towards the end of last season, replacing Daniil Kvyat.

Alex Lynn, formerly a Lotus and Williams F1 test driver and now competing in Formula E and WEC, along with F3 championship leader Enaam Ahmed, are in the studio this week and discussed Toro Rosso’s options.

“From my side I’m really impressed by Lando, he’s had a fantastic career already and I’m sure he will continue to have a fantastic career,” Lynn said on the F1 Report: Canada Preview, which first airs on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm.

“But I think it would be a bit disappointing see someone vacate the Toro Rosso seat so early in the season and from my side that’s not the right way to go. But we’ve seen decisions like this from Red Bull quite often.”

When’s the Canadian GP on Sky?

The key TV times and how to watch Sky F1’s exclusively live coverage from Montreal

Hartley is under pressure in 2018 after an inconsistent start to the season, with Pierre Gasly scoring 18 points to his one. Toro Rosso reportedly asked McLaren to loan Norris from the Austrian GP, which is round nine of the 21-race season.

And Lynn, who used to be part of the Red Bull junior programme, added: “I’m well aware of the pressure Dr Helmut Marko {Red Bull adviser] likes to put on his drivers.”

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Hartley’s meagre points return certainly isn’t ideal for his case to stay, but he has endured unfortunate moments this year – such as his DNF in Monaco after Charles Leclerc’s Sauber brakes failed.

But Ahmed said: “It’s been quite difficult for Brendon, but Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor racing and it’s very, very tough.”

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Also up for discussion on this week’s F1 Report

* Why Lewis Hamilton enjoys the circuit so much and whether doubts about who his Mercedes team-mate will be are holding up contract talks

* On Daniel Ricciardo’s “unfair” incoming engine penalties and why it will be a shame to see the Monaco GP winner towards the back

* Why Fernando Alonso still has a lot to offer in F1 and why he should try to go out “with a bang”

* Whether a MotoGP-F1 crossover will be possible in the future after Marc Marquez completed a Toro Rosso test in Austria

Don’t miss tonight’s F1 Report as Alex Lynn and Enaam Ahmed join Natalie Pinkham to preview the Canadian GP. Watch first on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm.

How to follow the Canadian GP on Sky F1

Friday June 8 Sky F1 digital live blog 3pm: P1 LIVE! (Build-up 2.30pm) 7pm: P2 LIVE! (Build-up 6.45pm)
Saturday June 9 Sky F1 digital live blog 4pm: P3 LIVE! (Build-up 3.45pm) 7pm: Qualifying LIVE (Build-up 6pm) 8.45pm: The F1 Show LIVE!
Sunday June 10 Sky F1 digital live blog 5.30pm: Pit Lane LIVE 6.30pm: On the Grid LIVE! 7.10pm: The Canadian GP LIVE!

Can Ferrari or Red Bull deny Lewis Hamilton a fourth consecutive win in Montreal? Watch the Canadian GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Get Sky Sports F1.

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