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giftedviz.com April 26, 2018


Hartley gets nod for Austin from Toro Rosso

14 October 2017, 12:43 | Pamela Mathis

Hartley won the 2015 World Endurance Championship alongside Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard

Mark Webber Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard

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 worldwide sports auto racing once it became apparent transitioning to a full-time ride was not in the cards. On Friday, the team confirmed he will do the latter, giving Hartley a remarkable opportunity at a Formula One debut.

Brendon Hartley started racing as a kid and by the age of 17 was racing n the British Formula 3 Championship.

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

Autosport magazine is reporting that 27-year-old Hartley is the favourite to replace Gasly for the race at the Circuit of Americas track and is in the frame to get a full-time drive at the team next year.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost pointed out that Hartley had longstanding Red Bull roots, and also hinted that the team - which tends to try to provide young talents with a springboard towards the Red Bull team - was eyeing a more experience pair of hands for Austin.

"I want to say a huge thanks to Red Bull and to Porsche", he told the Toro Rosso site.

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However, Hartley never got his debut as he was made to wait patiently as other drivers took seats above him. Hartley said in the official press release. However, fellow Red Bull junior Alguersuari won the title and would step up to a Toro Rosso drive mid-way through the following season.

The rookie, who is set to return for the last three rounds of the season after Austin, has said he would rather stay with Toro Rosso and the team indicated that would be the case when he arrived.

With one LMP1 World championship to his credit for the German powerhouse, another all but guaranteed once the current season ends, and an overall victory in June's 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the wheel of the all-conquering 919 Hybrid, the Kiwi has more than solved any lingering questions as to whether he's made from extraordinary stuff.

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

After Formula One pulled off the deal of the century to allow McLaren to swap its busted Honda engines for Renault ones, Toro Rosso's standout driver Carlos Sainz Jr. will leave the team for Renault early, starting with the United States Grand Prix.



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