Hartley to make F1 debut in Austin

Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

According to Autosport, Hartley is the leading contender to drive for Toro Rosso in Austin in a fortnight with regular driver Pierre Gasly returning to Super Formula on the same weekend in an attempt to try and secure the title.

Kiwi motorsport ace Brendon Hartley has been tipped to make his Formula 1 debut at the US Grand Prix for Toro Rosso.

"What an unbelievable feeling!" said Hartley, whose F1 hopes looked to have ended when he left Red Bull in 2010.

With enough super licence points to race in Formula 1 Hartley is now contracted to Porsche and competing in the World Endurance Championship, where he could win the title this weekend at Fuji.

He previously tested for Toro Rosso back in 2009.

Pierre Gasly will rejoin Honda's Mugen Racing squad to take on Toyota in one of the year's most significant bouts for the Super Formula championship.

New Zealand might be about to have its next Formula 1 driver.

Hartley won Le Mans for the first time earlier this year with Bamber, who helped claim pole for the Fuji race and is on course to share the WEC title with his fellow Kiwi. This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.

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

You'll note that the other driver can't be Kvyat: he has already returned in the other auto, having replaced Carlos Sainz Jr, who went off to Renault as part of a new engine deal between Honda and the two teams.

"I feel ready for it, honestly".

'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.

Hartley was named a Red Bull junior in 2007 alongside a batch of drivers including Daniel Ricciardo.

Hartley, meanwhile, will become the ninth New Zealander to race in F1, but the first since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

We also reported that the list of potential one-off replacements for Gasly was vast, featuring Robert Kubica, Sergey Sirotkin, Sebastien Buemi and even Takuma Sato and Indycar champion Josef Newgarden.

"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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