Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

Randall Padilla
Октября 15, 2017

Gasly has opted to skip the race in Austin to concentrate on winning the Asian Super Formula championship at the series finale on the same weekend.

Secondly, Carlos Sainz Jr., who drove for Toro Rosso for most of this season, is heading to Renault in 2018, but he will actually start with the team next weekend in the United States Grand Prix as Jolyon Palmer's replacement, leaving a seat open at Toro Rosso.

"What an fantastic feeling!" said Hartley, whose F1 hopes looked to have ended when he left Red Bull in 2010.

Hartley was formerly part of the Red Bull Junior Team and has enough Super License points to compete in Formula One; but he is also now contracted to Porsche in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and is purportedly in talks with Chip Ganassi for a 2018 IndyCar deal.

Franz Tost: "Scuderia Toro Rosso is very pleased to announce that Brendon Hartley, who has been part of the Red Bull family for a long time in different classes, as well as the test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, will now be back racing for us in Austin".

Prior to signing with Porsche for its new FIA WEC LMP1 program in 2014, New Zealand's Brendon Hartley was a spikey-haired mystery. In the June of this year he won the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with Earl Bamber and Bernhard. 'This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.

The 2017 Le Mans victor has emerged as a front-runner to gain the US Grand Prix audition after years as a reserve driver and time in the junior programme with the Red Bull team.

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

He can win a second World Endurance Championship with the factory Porsche team if results go his way this weekend in Japan.

With that in mind, Toro Rosso and Red Bull have lined up Buemi, who raced for Red Bull's junior team between 2009 and 2011, to step in if a deal for Hartley can not be agreed.

The last New Zealander to race in Formula One was Mike Thackwell 33 years ago.

"I feel ready for it, honestly".

Former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi, who has won the Formula E electric title since he last competed in Formula One in 2011, might be one option.

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