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Toro Rosso announce Hartley and Gasly for 2018

Hartley and Gasly have raced in the last two Grand Prix's for Toro Rosso. Credit: PA

Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley have been confirmed as Toro Rosso drivers for next season.

New Zealander Hartley, 28, made his Formula One debut only at October's United States Grand Prix, but he has steadily impressed and will team up with Frenchman Gasly in 2018.

Gasly has been on Red Bull's books for some time, and was given the nod to make his F1 bow at their junior team Toro Rosso in Malaysia after Daniil Kvyat was axed.

"We're really happy to have Pierre and Brendon confirmed so early by Red Bull as our drivers for 2018", Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost said.

"During this last part of the year they've shown that they're ready for Formula One, 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. As we know, F1 is something that not all drivers can adapt to this fast.

"Therefore, we're looking forward to having a full year with them - one where we can hopefully provide them with a good package - which can put them in the best possible situation to deliver."

Only Williams and Sauber are yet to announce their line-ups for next season. Robert Kubica, whose motor racing career appeared over after an horrific rally crash back in 2011, is in the frame to replace Felipe Massa at Williams. Massa will take part in his final grand prix in Abu Dhabi next Sunday before he retires from the sport.

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Hamilton crashes out of Brazilian GP qualifying

Hamilton was quickest during Friday's practice. Credit: PA

Lewis Hamilton's first competitive action since winning the world championship lasted less than two minutes as he crashed out of qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who clinched his fourth Formula One title at the last race in Mexico, lost control of his Mercedes at 160mph through turn six of the Interlagos circuit before thudding into the tyre barrier.

The 32-year-old Englishman remained in his cockpit for some moments before informing his team that he was not injured in the high-speed smash.

Hamilton's car sustained significant damage in the incident, and he will now start Sunday's race, the penultimate of the season, from the back of the field.

Hamilton topped both practice sessions here on Friday, with his Mercedes team appearing on course to dominate the penultimate race of the campaign.

But Hamilton, who has enjoyed a largely faultless season, will now have his work cut out to salvage a strong result here on Sunday.

Hamilton's crash, which followed a very slight sprinkling of rain, marked the first time he has failed to progress from Q1 - the opening phase of qualifying - since last year's Belgian Grand Prix, a streak of 27 races.

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Felipe Massa to retire from Formula One at end of season

Massa is set to retire from F1 at the end of the season Credit: PA

Felipe Massa will retire from Formula One for good at the end of the 2017 season.

The Williams driver, who announced his retirement last year only to return for one more campaign, will end his racing career after the final two races of the season.

The Brazilian said in a statement: "As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula One last year, I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came.

"I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season."

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