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Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly replaces Daniil Kvyat for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly will make his Formula One debut at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. Credit: PA

Pierre Gasly will make his Formula One debut with Toro Rosso at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old Frenchman has been given an opportunity due to the poor performances of the team's Russian driver Daniil Kvyat.

According to Toro Rosso, Gasly will replace Kvyat "for the next Grands Prix".

"For a variety of reasons, some of them due to technical problems, but others being mistakes of his own making, Daniil Kvyat has not really shown his true potential so far this year, which is why we are standing him down for the next races," team principal Franz Tost told Toro Rosso's official website.

"This will give us the opportunity to evaluate Pierre on track during a proper race weekend."

Gasly, one of the Red Bull junior programme drivers, has been racing in Japan this year in the Super Formula category.

His F1 chance comes after 23-year-old Kvyat struggled to impress this season, scoring just four points from 14 races.

Gasly said: "This is a great opportunity for me.

"I feel as ready as I can be, having had to be prepared for anything in my role as Red Bull Racing's third driver this year.

"I will do my best to perform well with Scuderia Toro Rosso during these coming races."

Despite dropping Kvyat, Toro Rosso insist the driver still has a future with the team.

"This is not a case of goodbye for our Daniil, as he still remains part of the Red Bull family," they added.

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Formula 1 teams lead tributes to test driver De Villota

Formula 1 racing teams Red Bull and Sauber have issued tributes to test driver Maria de Villota, who has died at the age of 33.

Sauber tweeted: "We are shocked to hear about the death of María de Villota. Our sincerest condolences and sympathy to her family for this tragic loss."

Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull, said: "We were extremely saddened to learn of the loss of Maria de Villota.

"On behalf of everyone in the team, we send our sincere condolences to Maria’s family at this difficult time"

Life of 'Red Bull' drink billionaire

Born in central Thailand's Pichit province to a Chinese father and a Thai mother who reportedly sold fruit and ducks to survive:

  • Mr Chaleo died the third richest man in Thailand
  • He started a small company, TC Pharmaceuticals, in the 1960s
  • He formulated an energy drink prototype a decade later called Krathing Daeng, or Red Bull
  • Chaleo was married with five children

He reportedly died of natural causes.

Thai creator of 'Red Bull' dies

Chaleo Yoovidhya, who rose from poverty to become one of the world's richest men thanks to astute marketing of the 'Red Bull' energy drink, has died in his native Thailand. Chaleo was ranked 205th on the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people, with a fortune it put at £2.7 billion.

Chaleo made an energy drink called Krathing Daeng, or 'Red Bull' in English Credit: Reuters