Toro Rosso has announced Le Mans 24 Hours winner Brendon Hartley will drive one of its cars at next week’s United States Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old was previously part of Red Bull’s junior team. He is racing for Porsche’s LMP1 team in the World Endurance Championship this year and shared victory at Le Mans with team mates Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard.
Hartley admitted the chance to make his F1 debut “came as somewhat of a surprise.”
“But I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1,” he said. “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.”
Hartley is racing in the World Endurance Championship for Porsche at Fuji this weekend. He shares the lead of the championship, which he won in 2015, with team mates Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber.
“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.”
Gasly will return to Japan to contest the final round of this year’s Super Formula championship. He goes into the final double-header round at Suzuka half a point behind leader Hiroaki Ishiura.
Hartley will become the first driver from New Zealand to enter a round of the world championship since Mike Thackwell entered the 1984 German Grand Prix for Tyrrell.
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75 comments on “Hartley takes Gasly’s place at Toro Rosso for US GP”
Mark Thomson (@melthom)
13th October 2017, 17:36
14th October 2017, 2:03
Wow, and kudos to RB. Im really happy for Brendon.
14th October 2017, 22:15
Wow alright! New Zealand does a good job punching above its weight in Motorsport, so stoked to have a Kiwi in F1! Hartley got close before, Evans looked promising and now it’s actually happening!!
16th October 2017, 0:11
For a very small country (pop) NZ punch well above their weight in all categories of motor sport ( their drivers are currently dominating Aussie V8′) , I hope Hartley is the next Hulme, Amon or McLaren in F1.
13th October 2017, 17:39
@keithcollantine: “He is racing for Porsche’s LMP1 team in the World Endurance Championship this year and shared victory at Le Mans with team mates Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley.”
Should say “team mates Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard.”
13th October 2017, 21:28
This bit “He shares the lead of the championship, which he won in 2015, with team mates Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber“ should either say “with team mates Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber”, or should be reworded to, “He shares the lead of the chamhiponship with team mates Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber, which he also won in 2015”.
Aside from that I am so excited that Hartley gets his chance in Formula 1. Kiwis make the best race car drivers. I’m an unashamed Hartley fan boy.
13th October 2017, 17:48
Kvyat seems to have gotten a rare 2nd chance which Palmer didnt get.
13th October 2017, 17:54
Palmer had 37 chances and blew them all.
13th October 2017, 20:09
Lol, savage! But true.
15th October 2017, 19:56
No he had one good day.
13th October 2017, 18:10
Kvyat has also shown both pace and racecraft in F1 cars several times, unlike Palmer.
13th October 2017, 21:29
Kvyat is actually a pretty handy race car driver.
14th October 2017, 12:42
But he uses braces. No one likes a driver with braces!
John Doe (@watertank)
15th October 2017, 11:45
oh, hi there!
16th October 2017, 3:14
Kvyat used to be decent, but with the demotion they ruined his career, though he asked for it with his actions in early 2016, and imo vergne would be doing better than him atm, at least he was consistant, though ofc red bull also wants some speed, doesn’t settle for a decent driver, but in this case they got worse as things stand.
13th October 2017, 17:58
Gasly deserved to defend his Super Formula campaign and fight for the championship.
14th October 2017, 1:47
Im pretty sure he didnt want to, but Honda wants to beat Toyota. Rightfully so!
13th October 2017, 18:00
Too bad the Kiwis will find it hard to watch the USGP, given the timezone differences.
13th October 2017, 19:19
Not hard at all, Kiwi’s are used to getting up in the middle of the night as most live European events happen at around midnight. However we are smart for we set recorders to put the event to disc and watch during breakfast. Simple really. Most American live events happen early morning so no problems watching whilst eating the cornflakes.
13th October 2017, 21:16
I believe the US GP starts at 8 a.m. local time in New Zealand. Could be a lot worse.
13th October 2017, 21:30
8am Monday though. All the kiwi F1 fans will be late to work.
14th October 2017, 0:10
@formulales Good point.
14th October 2017, 1:02
It’s a public holiday on Monday in New Zealand next weekend, we’ll be fine
14th October 2017, 4:15
Not a problem. I wait up or wake up at crazy hours to watch races around the world, typically midnight NZ time but sometimes as bad as 2am.
14th October 2017, 12:04
I’m expat living in china. I can’t watch live races as here the only available one is in Chinese and it’s crap. I get the UK sky from torrents smcgill1969 is my rescuer. And I can watch it at my free time. The only drawback is that I watch it with at least with a day’s delay and I forbid myself from watching any news sites to prevent spoilers :)
13th October 2017, 18:02
This is the best news I have heard all year! I was at Le Mans this year with my kiwi flag and had never been more proud of my country. Phenomenonal performance that weekend, last to first.
Everything crossed that he keeps the seat for next year!
13th October 2017, 18:05
Excellent news! I always love it when teams pick a driver outside the same old 2 or 3 championships. He may not have shone in his junior career, but he’s certainly prove himself to be a very strong racer with Porsche, and particularly in his occasional outings in IMSA.
It’ll be fascinating to see how he gets on as Toro Rosso must surely be weighing him up as a replacement for Kvyat next season. I mean, if a guy who has been out of the F1 loop for several years can keep up with Kvyat, they have to consider him. And the next race will serve as a chance for direct comparison.
Also Toro Rosso will have a completely fresh lineup from the previous race – when was the last time that happened mid-season?
13th October 2017, 18:36
@jackysteeg 1994 season. Team Lotus changed drivers P. Adams & J. Herbert to E. Bernard & A. Zanardi between Portuguese GP and European GP. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, please.
Adam Blocker (@blockwall2)
13th October 2017, 19:20
@jackysteeg Looking back through results, I believe it was Lotus in 1994. Herbert and Philippe Adams drove in Portugal, then Zanardi and Eric Bernard drove in Jerez.
13th October 2017, 22:00
Prost in 2001. They began the season with Trulli/Mazzacane. By race 13, it was Frentzen/Burti, and Burti was replaced by Enge for the last 3 races after his crash at Spa.
13th October 2017, 22:02
Funnily enough, this meant that Frentzen replaced Alesi at Prost, and Alesi replaced Frentzen at Jordan.
Adam Blocker (@blockwall2)
13th October 2017, 22:35
It didn’t happen at the same race though. They always had at least one driver carry over from the previous race.
14th October 2017, 1:58
I think you meant Alesi not Trulli!
14th October 2017, 13:18
Yes, I did. No idea why I wrote Trulli instead.
13th October 2017, 18:10
Why not Da Costa or Buemi? Da Costa has shone in every category he’s been driving at and Buemi’s recent successes are pretty telling.
13th October 2017, 19:45
Buemi lost a championship and almost lost another one in the fastest car by a good margin. If you would pick a FE driver it would be Di Grassi that is the best driver in FE. 3 seasons so far and he was a championship contender in all 3.
13th October 2017, 20:35
Buemi would’ve sealed the title before Montreal with a comfortable margin if he had raced in NY double race weekend. Di Grassi is talented and deserves another chance in F1 too, but since he has no connections to RB I didn’t bother to mention him
14th October 2017, 12:25
I think that with Buemi the most important thing is, @huhhii, @miane, that he has a Formula E contract with Renault. And the team is in the closest fight with STR for the constructors championship. So it makes only sense that Renault are not all that willing and cooperative to let Buemi go right now.
14th October 2017, 12:50
@bascb That’d be strange. Buemi still sports Red Bull -themed helmet and he is the official reserve driver of Red Bull. Surely RB have contract clauses allowing to do whatever they want with him, or otherwise keeping him would make no sense for Red Bull.
15th October 2017, 9:51
Sure, off course RB would have some clauses that enable them to use Buemi @huhhii, and in most situations Renault sport would probably be ok with releasing him. But if there are other options (Gasly, Guttierez, Button, Hartley, Giovanazzi, Leclerc) and this is about a straight fight for championship points between Renault F1 and STR, I am sure Renault have contractual means to NOT allow it.
John H (@john-h)
13th October 2017, 20:09
I used to be a Buemi fan, but having lost him lose his cool completely at the end of the FE season and blasting other innocent drivers I’m pleased he’s nowhere near F1 anymore.
13th October 2017, 20:37
@john-h Just those “in the heat of the moment” things I suppose. I found it unsportsmanlike, but don’t want to judge Buemi just because of that. Must’ve been frustrating for hmi to see the title slip away despite him dominating the field in majority of races.
13th October 2017, 21:22
I had come to the conclusion that he’s a pretty unpleasant person quite some time earlier, the Montreal incident was just a confirmation of that. I’ve stopped following Formula E since it became very difficult to watch the races non-live but quasi-live on youtube, but when I heard that Buemi screwed up and lost the title to di Grassi, whom I personally rate higher on and off the track, I was chuffed.
13th October 2017, 21:25
Frijns would have been a dream.
13th October 2017, 23:05
It could be as simple as contractual obligations, like how Rosberg said Kubica couldn’t do it because he’d have to repay an insurance payout he received after his accident. It doesn’t necessarily mean anyone got passed over.
13th October 2017, 18:11
So … does that mean that Hartley might be in with a chance to get a STR seat next year?
13th October 2017, 18:48
Regarding next season: I’m 99% positive that the STR-line up for next season will be Kvyat-Gasly despite the recent reports that the former might be in danger of losing his seat altogether after the current campaign. I just can’t see a driver in his late 20s to become a full-time driver for a team that exists purely to bring up young drivers to F1. For a one-off event, yes, but for full-time, no. The same applies to Buemi as well.
14th October 2017, 12:05
I have to agree. But I was thinking, that if Red Bull binds both Ricciardo and Verstappen to their first team until the end of 2021, as they plan to, what’s the point in “breeding” the youngsters if they’ll have nowhere to go? Because either of these guys leaves, Sainz is taking his place, and for quite long.
14th October 2017, 12:06
27 is young, and he if he has the pace, TR can bring him up for a year, and then Hartley can move to a better f1 team. I’m getting a bit sick of people judging drivers by age, drivers either have skill or they don’t. f1 needs to have the best drivers, not 10 up and coming “potentials”, of which 8 will fail to progress.
14th October 2017, 17:19
KPCART : Good answer mate…
13th October 2017, 18:52
Why didn’t they pick Robin Frijns ? the guy is raw talent if not talent in person, has 5 titles in 4 different categories yet he is still ignored by Torro Rosso, sure his comments where harsh about them about they were true, maybe not enough super-licence points ?
13th October 2017, 19:08
Red Bull and F1 have plenty of hype in The Netherlands with Verstappen whereas New Zealand is uncharted territory for TOO long. And Hartley surely deserves a shot
14th October 2017, 4:27
He once did a test drive for Red Bull. Later on he got interviewed where he answered a question and said “At Red Bull they treat you like a dog”. That was the end of Robin in F1.
14th October 2017, 12:26
You also have to have a superlicense @abdelilah, and Robin currently does not have one, nor does he satisfy the points system to get one.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
13th October 2017, 19:14
Sad Buemi didn’t get the drive! I think he’d have been a much better choice.
13th October 2017, 19:28
Expect him to have one or two more outings if he drives well this weekend, especially if he is on par with Gasly.
Jordi Casademunt (@casjo)
13th October 2017, 19:45
So, when was the last time that there were 2 Le Mans winners in an F1 grid?
13th October 2017, 19:53
In 2000 I think, when both Wurz and Herbert had a full season.
13th October 2017, 20:06
very happy for Brendon, looking forward to see him in an F1 race!
But it’s quite interesting how many driver changes we have now..
13th October 2017, 20:25
@milansson ”But it’s quite interesting how many driver changes we have now..”
– Exactly. Within this season alone there have been six driver changes (either one-off substitution or a bit longer-term) already: Giovinazzi > Wehrlein at the beginning of the season. Button > Alonso in Monaco. Di Resta > Massa in Hungary. Gasly > Kvyat in Malaysia and Japan. Sainz > Palmer for the remaining races, and now Hartley > Gasly in the next race.
13th October 2017, 20:21
I think the answer to the questions why wasn’t Buemi/AFdC/Frijns etc. picked is because they all have manufacturer contracts which are usually pretty strict, plus I think only Buemi has Red Bull connection currently (judging from helmets etc.). With Porsche leaving LMP1 and Hartley having no completed for , he was probably the least complicated to get permission to race and he also has Red Bull backing and is one of the quickest drivers in LMP1.
Hartley may not be the most exciting choice but I think it’s a decent one nevertheless, and I always like to see a driver getting to F1 through an alternate route. Not all people have the same learning curve and get to their top of the game at 20, some mature past the junior single-seater series, which is why I think the FIA Global Pathway idea is a bit close-minded and leaves late-bloomers not much chance to turn to F1, but hopefully he’ll show teams that they can have a bigger picking list than we’re used to. (although having more than 20 cars on the grid would help this argument…)
14th October 2017, 17:23
I always rated Hartley over Webber in LM Series as in faster and more consistent.
13th October 2017, 21:45
Pleased to see a kiwi get a go for a change.
I will judge him on the track but if he says “For sure!” Even once, he should be sent back to karting.
Hope he has an actual personality too, seems like only a couple of them do at the moment
14th October 2017, 9:35
Or if he starts every sentence with “Yeah, no…”
16th October 2017, 21:33
Kevin Amery (@k-l-waster)
13th October 2017, 23:59
For those of you who haven’t been watching WEC the last couple of years, Hartley is one of the fastest guys in LMP1, up there with Jani, Lotterer, Buemi, and Davidson. Definitely a good choice on talent and professionalism.
juan fanger (@juan-fanger)
14th October 2017, 0:09
Webber will be happy.
14th October 2017, 0:25
No more talk Brendon, just show us what you got!
14th October 2017, 0:26
Proud Kiwi here! Such fantastic news. I really thought it was all over and we would never see another New Zealand driver again. Mitch Evans and Richie Stanaway were our best hopes after Hartley was dropped by RB. We had Denny Hulme (‘67 champ), Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon too. They all left big legacies so it’s great to see another Kiwi get a go.
14th October 2017, 0:28
It;s actually a public holiday that Monday (Labour Day) so we won’t be at work :D
14th October 2017, 4:34
Alex Rossi would have been the perfect choice.
14th October 2017, 7:15
Excellent. I like the guy.
A bit old, for F1 debut, but not like WEC lacks talent.
14th October 2017, 8:49
TR are going to find it hard scoring points now.verry happy for Hartley though. Saw him fighting it with Ric and Vergnes in Monaco in feeders. Good stuff
14th October 2017, 14:37
Great news! Brendon’s no slouch, now lets get Pipo Derani in a car.
14th October 2017, 19:26
Team Red Bull Porsche Racing in 2020 confirmed?
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