Toro Rosso announces Hartley for US GP

That is, at least, for all the grands prix excluding Austin.

As an 18-year-old, he tested for the Red Bull F1 team and was their reserve driver in 2009-10 before being dropped from the programme.

Who that replacement is, though, has yet to be revealed.

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.

"This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1".

The 2017 Le Mans victor has emerged as a front-runner to gain the US Grand Prix audition after years as a reserve driver and time in the junior programme with the Red Bull team.

He is part of a trio including fellow Kiwi Earl Bamber and German Timo Bernhard that leads the WEC but will be looking for another drive next year after Porsche's decision to withdraw at the season's end. 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.

Hartley is no stranger to Toro Rosso, having tested for the team back in 2009.

"Brendon is coming as the reigning 24h Le Mans victor and he's also leading the current FIA LMP1 World Endurance Championship, which he won in 2015 as well", said Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost.

Honda, who will provide the engine power for the Faenza based squad in 2018, had also stated they would not stop Gasly from racing in the USA, but would be happy for him to return to Japan if a replacement Formula 1 driver could be sought.

Hartley chases world title, B6New Zealander Brendon Hartley is poised to join Formula One, completing an ambitious journey to the highest level that started half a lifetime ago. "With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us".

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