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New Zealander Hartley to make F1 debut in Austin
13 October 2017, 11:42 | Anna Jefferson
Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut
New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley has been confirmed to make his Formula 1 debut at next week's US Grand Prix, becoming the ninth Kiwi to race in the prestigious competition after agreeing to terms with Toro Rosso.
Hartley, 27, will be the ninth Kiwi to get behind the wheel of an F1 vehicle and the first since Mike Thackwell in 1984 when he replaces Frenchman Pierre Gasly at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) track in Austin, the Red Bull-owned team said.
Since then, Hartley has raced in a variety of events, winning the 2015 World Endurance Championship - a series he again leads this year. "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.
After being named official reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in 2008, and testing twice for the latter, a move to British Formula 3 followed, where he finished third ahead of Sergio Perez and Marcus Ericsson.
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.
"What an incredible feeling!" said Hartley, who will fill the seat temporarily vacated by France's Pierre Gasly.
The other vehicle will be driven by Daniil Kvyat, who returns after being dropped in favour of Gasly two races ago. COTA is a track I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently.
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