Mentor tips Hartley to accept Toro Rosso seat

Ivan Schwartz
October 15, 2017

The 27-year-old is replacing Pierre Gasly, who is to take part in the final race of Japan's Super Formula series in which he is a title contender.

Brendon Hartley is Toro Rosso's new driver and will make his F1 debut in Austin next weekend.

When a teenage Hartley first came to Europe from his native New Zealand, Kvyat was a 12-year-old racing karts in Russian Federation.

Hartley has fallen off the F1 radar in recent years and focused on sportscar racing, and was the 2015 World Endurance champion with Porsche.

That has opened up the door for the under-performing Kvyat to return but Gasly may now miss Texas because the U.S. Grand Prix clashes with the decisive round of the Japanese Super Formula series at Suzuka.

The New Zealander will be a popular addition to the grid in Austin, an opportunity which would have seemed like an impossibly long shot just a few weeks ago. 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. "I had quite a bit on my mind over the last week and especially at Petit Le Mans as well", Hartley explained. 'This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.

"COTA is a track I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently". 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.

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Should he compete in the race he will become New Zealand's first F1 driver since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

"I've got a lot to learn in one week but I feel ready for it, honestly".

Hartley was a reserve driver at Red Bull for two seasons but failed to land a full-time drive with the team and was dropped in 2010.

Gasly was initially handed Daniil Kvyat's F1 vehicle for two races, Malaysia and Japan, however, Carlos Sainz's early move to Renault means he'll be staying with the team for the remainder of this season.

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

"I'm convinced he'll do a fantastic job for us".

Other reports by GizPress

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