Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Hartley in contention for Toro Rosso USGP drive

After being named official reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in 2008, and testing twice for the latter, a move to British Formula 3 followed, where he finished third ahead of Sergio Perez and Marcus Ericsson.

Hartley was formerly part of the Red Bull Junior Team and has enough Super License points to compete in Formula One; but he is also now contracted to Porsche in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and is purportedly in talks with Chip Ganassi for a 2018 IndyCar deal.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley will make his Formula One debut at the U.S. Grand Prix and, as Toro Rosso's official confirmation put it, it is an opportunity almost a decade in the making.

With Gasly, who is firmly in contention for the SFC title, unavailable, Toro Rosso have turned to Hartley, despite the 27-year-old's last test for the team having taken place way back in 2009.

It could be a busy two weeks for Hartley as he'll be racing with Porsche at Fuji in the World Endurance Championship, and competing for the category's title. COTA is a track I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently.

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

Here's why it's taken Hartley so long to get onto the grid.

Hartley also ran with Mercedes in a young driver test at Magny Cours in 2012.

However, his F1 opportunity appeared to have passed him by, with his focus switching fully to sports cars in 2014 when he signed up for a season with Porsche alongside former Red Bull driver Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard.

Toro Rosso have announced Brendon Hartley will partner the returning Daniil Kvyat at the US GP, with Pierre Gasly skipping the race to complete the Super Formula season in Japan.

"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. However, the rumor goes that Kvyat threatened to quit Formula One and Toro Rosso should he not get his seat back.

"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. 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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