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Hartley to race F1 for Toro Rosso

13 October, 2017, 23:42 | Author: Leah Owens
  • Pierre Gasly to Miss US Grand Prix for Super Formula Finale

But it wasn't clear whether Gasly would be able to race at the upcoming United States Grand Prix, as before replacing Kvyat he had been competing in the Super Formula championship, the final round of which will take place in Suzuka, Japan, at the same time as the US GP, preventing him from attending both.

Hartley, meanwhile, will become the ninth New Zealander to race in F1, but the first since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

"What an unbelievable feeling!" said Hartley, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours this season and was world sportscar champion in 2015.

"What an unbelievable feeling, I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1", said Hartley, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

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As a former F1 test driver for STR, parent team Red Bull, and Mercedes, Hartley chased the grand prix dream through 2013, but turned his attention to worldwide sports vehicle racing once it became apparent transitioning to a full-time ride was not in the cards.

Gasly has clashing commitments in Japan but is expected to return for the remaining races. Hartley was formerly part of the Red Bull Junior Team and has enough Super License points to compete in Formula One; but he is also now contracted to Porsche in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and is purportedly in talks with Chip Ganassi for a 2018 IndyCar deal.

Having failed to make his way onto the F1 grid, Hartley paved a career path in sports cars joining Porsche on its return to endurance racing in 2014, clinching the championship the following year alongside Mark Webber and winning Le Mans in 2017.

"What an fantastic feeling", said the 27-year-old. "I'm trying not to put too many expectations on my F1 debut, but I feel ready for it".

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"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".

The young Frenchman made his debut in Malaysia and competed in last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix alongside Spaniard Carlos Sainz, with Russian Daniil Kvyat dropped for those races.

Hartley will partner Kvyat in the US, with the latter having regained a Toro Rosso seat due to Carlos Sainz's move to Renault being brought forward.

Team boss Franz Tost welcomed Hartley back as part of the Red Bull family. We are really happy to have him back in our team.

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