NEWS
Friday, Oct 13 07:51am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Reports: Brendon Hartley set for Formula 1 debut with Toro Rosso

Brendon Hartley is in line to drive for Toro Rosso at next weekend's United States Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, as the team looks to fill the vacant seat of Pierre Gasly.

 

Gasly will return to Japan to contest the final round of SUPER FORMULA for Team Mugen, in which he leads the standings. It is understood Gasly will race with the Toro Rosso team next year, but Red Bull need to find a suitable replacement for the second seat. 

 

Motorsport.com have reported Hartley may drive at the next Formula 1 Grand Prix in two weekends time and potentially get a seat next year. Hartley was a Red Bull Junior Driver for much of his early career before he was dropped in 2010.

 

Since then, Red Bull have remained a personal sponsor for the Kiwi. He has raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Red Bull badge across his helmet. 

 

Hartley had on-and-off opportunities in Formula 1 as a test driver and simulator driver for both Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.

 

Before any chance of getting a drive on the Formula 1 grid, he'll race at Fuji Speedway this weekend in the World Endurance Championship where he and Porsche teammates Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard will go for their fifth straight win.

 

It is understood Hartley may be in line to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. Motorsport.com have said that contract arrangement may be the only thing that stops Hartley from racing at Austin, and potentially next year, and if so, ex-Formula 1 driver Sebastien Buemi would step in.

 

It will have been 33-years since a Kiwi has driven in Formula 1 if Hartley gets the drive. Mike Thackwell was the last to have contested a Formula 1 race. He failed to finish the Canadian Grand Prix with Skoal Bandit F1 Team and returned later that year with Tyrrell Racing Organisation, but failed to qualify. 

 

Photo: Porsche

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