Sports

Hartley to replace Gasly for Toro Rosso at US GP

Hartley to replace Gasly for Toro Rosso at US GP

The 27-year-old won at Le Mans with Porsche this year and is competing in the World Endurance Championship, a sportscar title he won in 2015.

Hartley says the years he missed out on F1 made him more determined to make this opportunity a reality.

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.

Seeking a reliable second driver, they've turned to a young talent of yesteryear who never got an F1 break, New Zealand's Brendon Hartley.

Speaking to ESPN during winter testing this season, Ricciardo said he rated Hartley as one of his toughest opponents in the early days of his Red Bull career and even credits the Kiwi as one of the reasons he was able to overcome homesickness after his initial move to Europe from Australia.

The Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso Formula One team could be facing yet another driver change amid uncertainty about Pierre Gasly's availability for next week's U.S. 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.

Hartley had to make do with a role as Red Bull reserve driver in 2009, a job he shared with Ricciardo, as he struggled for form in Formula Renault 3.5.

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

Gasly can win that title for Team Mugen who are powered by Honda, Toro Rosso's engine partners next year.

Hartley was not content with sticking around the F1 paddock as a reserve driver and began racing in endurance events in 2012 - the same year he joined Mercedes as a test driver.

Now we finally get to see how Hartley can perform in an F1 seat, which Hartley described as a "childhood dream" that's finally coming true in Toro Rosso's announcement.

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

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.


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