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

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

He becomes the first New Zealander since Mike Thackwell in 1984 to compete in motorsport's premier category and just the ninth overall. He is part of a trio including fellow Kiwi Earl Bamber and German Timo Bernhard that leads the World Endurance Championship but will be looking for another drive next year after Porsche's decision to withdraw at the season's end.

The New Zealander has stepped up to the vacant seat after Carlos Sainz moved from Toro Rosso to Renault.

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

Autosport magazine is reporting that 27-year-old Hartley is the favourite to replace Gasly for the race at the Circuit of Americas track and is in the frame to get a full-time drive at the team next year.

Former Red Bull reserve driver Brendon Hartley is in contention to compete for Toro Rosso at next week's US Grand Prix.

He made no bones about his surprise at such a late call-up to the Red Bull F1 family.

After a loss of backing, Hartley had sporadic appearances in GP2 and another frustrating season in Formula Renault 3.5 before an appearance with Mercedes at the 2012 young driver test at Paul Ricard.

We also reported that the list of potential one-off replacements for Gasly was vast, featuring Robert Kubica, Sergey Sirotkin, Sebastien Buemi and even Takuma Sato and Indycar champion Josef Newgarden.


Discussing Hartley, New Zealand racing legend Kenny Smith - who is also his mentor - said: "Brendon didn't like anybody ahead of him".

Having failed to make his way onto the F1 grid, Hartley paved a career path in sports cars joining Porsche on its return to endurance racing in 2014, clinching the championship the following year alongside Mark Webber and winning Le Mans in 2017.

"I could see that when he was 12 years old driving Formula Vees, driving off the track and doing all sorts of insane things, he tried so hard - and Brendon never gave in".

"He is a wonderful kid and It has been so good to associated with him over the years".

"Brendon is coming as the reigning 24h Le Mans victor and he's also leading the current FIA LMP1 World Endurance Championship, which he won in 2015 as well", Tost said.

Hartley completed one test for Red Bull in 2008 before being made an official reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

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

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