Hartley to Race for Toro Rosso at Austin

Chelsea West
October 15, 2017

And while it might seem likely that Kvyat will stay on, he has now been demoted twice by Red Bull - once from the senior team back to Toro Rosso in May 2016 and then dropped altogether after this year's Singapore event.

Hartley has been drafted in to fill in for Pierre Gasly who will return to Super Formula in its finale round as he now lies just 0.5 points off of the championship.

"There's a lot to learn in one week", Hartley said.

He tested for Toro Rosso at the end of 2009 but has not driven an F1 vehicle since a one-day test for Mercedes in 2012.

However, acquiring the Kiwi will require some ironing out by the Italian Formula 1 team - the 27-year-old is now contracted to Porsche in the World Endurance Championship - a competition he could win this weekend with a solid performance in Fuji.

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

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

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Hartley becomes New Zealand's first Formula One driver since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

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

Sebastien Buemi is considered the back-up driver if a deal with Hartley can't be done.

Hartley has not taken part in official F1 running since a test with Mercedes in 2012, having focused on sports cars since 2014, but is embracing the surprise call-up made possible by his success in the WEC that gives him the required points for an FIA Super License.

"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", said Tost.

New Zealand's Brendon Hartley reacts in the pit. It's going to be a dream come true.

The decision has been supported by Toro Rosso's 2018 engine supplier Honda, who stated that while they wanted Gasly to remain with the F1 team, they are happy for him to contest the Super Formula final if the team finds a replacement. "With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us", he said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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