GP3 champion elect Alex Lynn remains in the frame for a Toro Rosso race seat in 2015, despite strong competition from Jean-Eric Vergne, Carlos Sainz Jr and outside bet Pierre Gasly.
Since Danill Kvyat was announced for RBR Vergne’s chances of hanging onto his seat have increased, for the very obvious reason that the team might want one experienced driver alongside Max Verstappen next year. Meanwhile Sainz’s Renault 3.5 win has underlined that he has a strong case, and the Spaniard will be testing for RBR in Abu Dhabi next week, as part of a prize for winning the title.
However Lynn, who was picked up by Red Bull after winning the Macau GP last year, is still very much in contention – and at the very least could secure a reserve driver role at RBR/STR.
At the moment only Max Verstappen is scheduled to do the Abu Dhabi test for STR, although it’s understood that was agreed before Kvyat’s departure created a vacancy.
“I saw every race from Alex this year,” Tost told this writer. “He has done a good job so far. There’s the final race in Abu Dhabi, and I think he’ll win the championship because he only needs a few points. He’s a high-skilled driver, he’s done a good season, he’s leading the championship, and the rest we will see.
“Of course we will sit together with Red Bull and will decide who will be the second driver for next year. The only thing is if Lynn is coming to us it’s not easy to have two young drivers, that’s the problem. But we will see, in the end it’s a decision from Red Bull. The main drivers are Jean-Eric, Sainz, Gasly and Lynn. This does not mean that Lynn is the last – these are the Red Bull young drivers.
“The situation has changed because we were totally surprised by the decision of Sebastian Vettel to go to another team next year, and therefore we have to decide what will be the best situation, the best possibility for the team.”
Lynn remains hopeful that he has done enough to make his case.
“Red Bull gave me the task of winning GP3 this year and I am well on the way to achieving that objective,” he said. “The record books show I have always had the upper hand racing head-to-head with both Daniil and Carlos and I hope I have done enough to be fully in the frame when Dr Marko and Torro Rosso are considering their options for next year. As highlighted in Macau, I perform at my best under pressure on the big stage and am 100% ready for an F1 move next season.”