Toro Rosso announces Brendon Hartley for US GP

Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

We reported on Tuesday this week that, at 2018 Honda partner Honda's request, Pierre Gasly will skip the United States grand prix in order to fight for the Super Formula title.

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

"What an awesome feeling, I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1", said Hartley, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Hartley said: "This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1".

"I want to say a huge thanks to Red Bull and to Porsche", he told the Toro Rosso site.

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

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

Brendon Hartley started racing as a kid and by the age of 17 was racing n the British Formula 3 Championship.




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.

"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. He contested that year's Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and won a series including future F1 drivers Jaime Alguersuari, Charles Pic, Roberto Merhi, Jules Bianchi and Ricciardo.

But media outlets including the Spanish sports daily Marca now report that the frontrunner is in fact Brendon Hartley.

"He'd have to go to formula one because that has been his main aim from his early days, and what he has been aiming for", Smith said.

"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".

"There is always time to go back to Indycars because he is still young".

The 27-year-old and Porsche factory driver is no stranger to F1, having been Red Bull's reserve driver in 2009 and 2010 before he was dropped from the company's driver development program.

Since then, Hartley has raced in a variety of events, winning the 2015 World Endurance Championship - a series he again leads this year. "With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us", he said.

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