Hartley confirmed for F1 drive

15 October, 2017, 01:22 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

As predicted by Autosport, Hartley was announced on Friday as a replacement for Toro Rosso's Super Formula title-contending driver Pierre Gasly for the next F1 race at Austin next weekend.

According to Motorsport, Brendon Hartley is the leading contender to drive for Toro Rosso at the United States Grand Prix.

Hartley's signature is also reportedly being chased heavily by IndyCar team Chip Ganassi for next year's series where he could race alongside fellow Kiwi Scott Dixon for the same organisation.

It could be a busy two weeks for Hartley as he'll be racing with Porsche at Fuji in the World Endurance Championship, and competing for the category's title.

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The 27-year-old, who was dropped as a Red Bull junior in the middle of his 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 campaign, said his experience from the Porsche 919 Hybrid programme meant he was prepared despite the last-minute F1 chance. He also won the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours race earlier this year.

Now racing for Porsche in the World Endurance Championship, the Kiwi was crowned champion in 2015 alongside team-mates Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard. This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.

Hartley will partner Kvyat in the United States of America, with the latter having regained a Toro Rosso seat due to Carlos Sainz's move to Renault being brought forward.

"I have grown and learned so much since the days when I was the Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve driver and the tough years I went through made me stronger and even more determined", he added.

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

Less than a year later he began providing testing in Mark Webber's place after the Aussie had suffered an injury, and for the 2009 season was the official reserve driver for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

"I feel ready for it, honestly. The fact that Formula 1 can look into this championship and say, "We need to choose a driver from here", I think that [shows] the level of drivers and level of teams and these programs", Bamber said.

Hartley, meanwhile, will become the ninth New Zealander to race in F1, but the first since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

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