Toro Rosso confirms Brendon Hartley for US Grand Prix!


Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that Brendon Hartley will race for the team in the US Grand Prix at Austin next week.

The Kiwi and Porsche factory driver, who last tested for Toro Rosso back in 2009, will make his F1 race debut alongside Dany Kvyat.

"What an amazing feeling! This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1," said an ecstatic Hartley who is fighting for the WEC title at Fuji with Porsche this weekend.

"I have grown and learnt so much since the days when I was the Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve driver, and the tough years I went through made me stronger and even more determined.

"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.

"COTA is a track I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently. I'm trying not to put too many expectations on my F1 debut, but I feel ready for it."

Hartley's opportunity comes after Carlos Sainz's move from the Faenza-base outfit to Renault for Austin, and after Honda's decision to send Pierre Gasly to Japan where he will fight next weekend for the title in the final round of the Super Formula series.

"Brendon Hartley has been part of the Red Bull family for a long time in different classes, as well as the test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso," said team boss Franz Tost.

"He will now be back racing for us in Austin. Brendon is coming as the reigning 24h Le Mans winner and he’s also leading the current FIA LMP1 World Endurance Championship, which he won in 2015 as well.

"We are really happy to have him back in our team. With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us."

Gasly will likely return to Toro Rosso after Austin for the remainder of 2017, but Kvyat's seat still appears in jeopardy.

However, with no clashes between F1 and the World Endurance Championship for the remainder of the year, Hartley could well be retained by Toro Rosso for Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Interestingly, Hartley will become the first Kiwi to race in Formula 1 since Mike Thackwell in 1984. It's been a long wait!

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