By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Brendon Hartley has been confirmed by Scuderia Toro Rosso and will make his Formula One debut in the United States Grand Prix next weekend at Circuit of the Americas.
He will replace Pierre Gasly, who will be contending the Super Formula championship in Suzuka. With Carlos Sainz moving to Renault for the final four rounds of 2017, Daniil Kvyat will also return to the cockpit for the first time since Singapore, having been replaced by Gasly in the previous two races in Malaysia and Japan.
Hartley hasn’t tested with the team since 2009, but is being called upon after spending much time in a variety of series since, which includes winning the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship and 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside former Red Bell Racing driver Mark Webber with the Porsche LMP1 squad.
“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,” said Hartley, 27.
“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.”
Franz Tost, team principal at Scuderia Toro Rosso, exuded his confidence in the Kiwi’s return to the Italian-based outfit.
“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,” said Tost.
“Brendon is coming as the reigning 24h Le Mans winner and he’s also leading the current FIA LMP1 World Endurance Championship, which he won in 2015 as well.
“We are really happy to have him back in our team. With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us.”