Hartley to race for Toro Rosso in Austin

Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

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.

Secondly, Carlos Sainz Jr., who drove for Toro Rosso for most of this season, is heading to Renault in 2018, but he will actually start with the team next weekend in the United States Grand Prix as Jolyon Palmer's replacement, leaving a seat open at Toro Rosso.

The other vehicle will be driven by Daniil Kvyat, who returns after being dropped in favour of Gasly two races ago.

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.

As a former F1 test driver for STR, parent team Red Bull, and Mercedes, Hartley chased the grand prix dream through 2013, but turned his attention to global sports auto racing once it became apparent transitioning to a full-time ride was not in the cards.

"What an wonderful 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.

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

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

Mike Thackwell was the last driver from New Zealand to start an F1 race at the 1984 Canadian Grand Prix. 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.

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

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. 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.

New Zealand's Brendon Hartley reacts in the pit.

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