Hartley gets 'dream' Toro Rosso start

Hartley gets 'dream' Toro Rosso start

Hartley gets 'dream' Toro Rosso start

Brendon Hartley will become the first New Zealander in over 30 years to compete in a Formula One race after Toro Rosso confirmed he will replace Pierre Gasly at the United States Grand Prix.

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

"What an incredible 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.

The news caps a fantastic 12 months for Hartley after his win at the renowned 24-hour Le Mans race for Porsche in June, and he now leads the FIA World Endurance Championship.

He tested for the Red Bull team back in 2009 and was a junior driver but it appeared his chances of competing in Formula 1 dried up.

Hartley will take the seat of Pierre Gasly, who will turn out in the Asian Super Formula championship finale instead.

But media outlets including the Spanish sports daily Marca now report that the frontrunner is in fact Brendon Hartley. In the June of this year he won the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with Earl Bamber and Bernhard.

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The New Zealander has stepped up to the vacant seat after Carlos Sainz moved from Toro Rosso to Renault. 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 for making this a reality, and to Porsche for allowing me to do this alongside the World Endurance Championship.

Now racing for Porsche in the World Endurance Championship, the Kiwi was crowned champion in 2015 alongside team-mates Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard.

"I feel ready for it, honestly".

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.

Because Kvyat was put on hiatus by Toro Rosso because of his poor on-track performances, you'd imagine he doesn't have much leverage: but teams are contractually obliged to run two drivers and no more than four per season.

"With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us".

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