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Hartley to race F1 for Toro Rosso

13 October 2017

He will make his debut alongside the returning Daniil Kvyat, who had been stood-down by the team at the last two races.

That is, at least, for all the grands prix excluding Austin.

One might wonder why Toro Rosso didn't simply hold on to Sainz for just one more round, which would have allowed Gasly to compete in the Super Formula finale and eliminated the need to find a fourth available driver.

Toro Rosso team Principal Franz Tost reportedly wants to use next the race as a chance to evaluate a new driver to add to next year's roster and while Gasly remains a favourite to retain one of the team's cars, the other is now up in the air.

Who that replacement is, though, has yet to be revealed.

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

"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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Hartley followed up that triumph with victory at Le Mans this year and another WEC title.

The 2017 Le Mans victor has emerged as a front-runner to gain the US Grand Prix audition after years as a reserve driver and time in the junior programme with the Red Bull team.

He subsequently became a top LMP1 sports auto driver for the works Porsche team, and was a teammate of Mark Webber's as he won the 2015 world endurance championship. "I'm trying not to put too many expectations on my F1 debut, but I feel ready for it".

It seems, though, that a decision has been made, as Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is now looking for another driver to fill Gasly's seat.

With current driver, and main point's scorer Carlos Sainz Jr. making an early move to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for the next race in Austin, Kvyat was already set to return to Toro Rosso at the next round of the season.

"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", said Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost.

"We are really happy to have him back in our team".

Hartley to race F1 for Toro Rosso