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Brendon Hartley to race for Toro Rosso at United States Grand Prix

15 October, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Samuel Sharp

Brendon Hartley has emerged as the leading contender to replace Pierre Gasly at Toro Rosso for next week's US Grand Prix in Austin.

New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley has reportedly emerged as a front-runner to drive for a Formula 1 team in the United States Grand Prix before accepting a full-contract for next season.

"What an unbelievable feeling, I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1", said Hartley, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

"What an fantastic feeling!" said Hartley, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours this season and was world sportscar champion in 2015.

He held the role of Red Bull's reserve driver from 2009-2010 and completed a test for Red Bull in 2008 as well as two for Toro Rosso in 2009 before being dropped from the programme. The trio won the championship in 2015 and Hartley and Bernhard were joined by Earl Bamber - who won the 2015 title alongside Nico Hulkenberg - earlier this season as they won the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Kvyat will be back for Austin, Texas, because Spaniard Carlos Sainz moved to Renault after last weekend's race in Japan, with Toro Rosso still to confirm their definitive lineup for next year. This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.


Coming off a win last weekend at IMSA's Petit Le Mans season finale in a Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi, Hartley has become an incredibly popular solution as a stand-in solution between FIA WEC obligations with Porsche.

"The Austin track is one I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently".

Hartley had to make do with a role as Red Bull reserve driver in 2009, a job he shared with Ricciardo, as he struggled for form in Formula Renault 3.5.

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost said he was delighted for Hartley, describing him as part of the Red Bull family. "I'm trying not to put too many expectations on my F1 debut, but I feel ready for it". I want to say a huge thanks to Red Bull for making this a reality, and to Porsche for allowing me to do this alongside the World Endurance Championship.

"We are really happy to have him back in our team".

Brendon Hartley could be poised to become the first New Zealand Formula 1 driver for more than three decades.

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