Hartley to replace Gasly for Toro Rosso at US GP
Brendon Hartley will become the first New Zealander in over 30 years to compete in a Formula One race after Toro Rosso confirmed he will replace Pierre Gasly at the United States Grand Prix.
Gasly was brought in at the expense of Daniil Kvyat for the recent races in Malaysia and Japan. However, the young Frenchman will be absent at the Circuit of the Americas next weekend as he heads to Suzuka for the final round of the Super Formula Championship.
With Gasly, who is firmly in contention for the SFC title, unavailable, Toro Rosso have turned to Hartley, despite the 27-year-old's last test for the team having taken place way back in 2009.
Since then, Hartley has raced in a variety of events, winning the 2015 World Endurance Championship - a series he again leads this year.
Team principal Franz Tost said: "Scuderia Toro Rosso is very pleased to announce that Brendon Hartley, who has been part of the Red Bull family for a long time in different classes, as well as the test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, will now be back racing for us in Austin.
"With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us."
Hartley, the first New Zealander to earn an F1 drive since Mike Thackwell in 1984, added: "What an amazing feeling. This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1.
"I have grown and learnt so much since the days when I was the Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve driver, and the tough years I went through made me stronger and even more determined. 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.
"COTA is a track I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently. I'm trying not to put too many expectations on my F1 debut, but I feel ready for it."
Hartley will partner Kvyat in the USA, with the latter having regained a Toro Rosso seat due to Carlos Sainz's move to Renault being brought forward.