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Featured Brendon Hartley Confirmed at Toro Rosso for USGP

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Drive.jpg
    2015 WEC Champion and reigning Le Mans 24 Hour winner Brendon Hartley has been confirmed as the surprise stand in for Toro Rosso at the US Grand Prix.

    At 27 years of age and a former Red Bull junior driver, Hartley has spent the past few years plying his trade with incredible success over in the World Endurance Championship for the factory Porsche LMP1 team, securing a World Championship alongside Mark Webber in 2015, Le Mans 24 victory earlier this year and is the current leader of the WEC standings with just three rounds remaining until the end of the season.

    Hartley has been on the periphery of the Formula One scene for several years having originally started out life under the wing of the prolific Red Bull driver programme, securing success in junior formula and setting out his stall as a very talented driver capable of taking his talent all the way to the top of the motorsport ranks.

    Having had seat time as test driver for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso in years past, Hartley found himself unceremoniously dumped from the Red Bull programme in 2010, leaving the New Zealander to make a name for himself in prototype endurance racing, despite returning briefly to Formula One testing duty for Mercedes in 2012, his last time behind the wheel in a Grand Prix machine.

    Having won his last World Endurance Championship race very recently at the Circuit of the Americas track, Hartley is full of excitement and confidence for the race ahead whist remaining keen not to set expectations too high ahead of his much delayed Formula One debut:

    “This opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise, but I never did give up on my ambition and childhood dream to reach F1. 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."
    With Porsche involvement in the World Endurance Championship soon to evaporate, Hartley may well be looking to put himself in the frame for a full time drive with Toro Rosso next season, something that many in Grand Prix circles would have thought rather far fetched at the beginning of the year.

    Whatever happens, it will be nice to see a driver who truly does deserve the opportunity to take part in a Formula One Grand Prix finally get his moment in the sun at the United States Grand Prix later this month.

    For more from the top tier of motorsport check out our Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment.

    Do you think Hartley is the right choice for Toro Rosso? Can the NZ driver make a significant impression in Austin? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  2. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
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    I'll copy over from the last thread.

    So. Can this be Honda's doing maybe. I felt it was really random when Hartley suddenly was the leading contender for the Chip Ganassi seat in IndyCar. Now I remembered that CGR use Honda engines. And as Hartley is out of contract for 2018, there might be an interest from Honda in signing Hartley to their stable of drivers. However, no Honda junior do have enough points to get a super license at the moment, but with Hartley in the group, they have a fairly young driver, who can get a super license.

    Not saying it will happen, but with a good showing in Austin, I would not be surprised if Hartley gets a chance in Mexico as well. And maybe even Yas Marina. Racing together with Gasly for those races.

    An interesting thought (for me) at least!
     
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  3. chargingcar

    chargingcar
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  4. Martin Larsen

    Martin Larsen

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    I think there is a typo somewhere in this thread, im sure it's writen Pastor Maldonado :whistling:
     
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  5. mister dog

    mister dog
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    [​IMG]

    Looking forward to see him in the TR, he was fast enough in WEC for sure.
     
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  6. Rob

    Rob
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    This is a decent pick, for a change
     
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  7. NASCRAP

    NASCRAP

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    When I first saw the picture, I thought "What a plain looking lady".
     
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  8. Rob

    Rob
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    I think she's kind of cute.
     
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  9. paracletus

    paracletus

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    Not heard of them - shows what i know about current motorsport :redface:; hell of a cv.
     
  10. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
    Porsche Factory Jackass Premium

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    He is FAST.
    From all the Porsche factory drivers loosing their LMP1 seat with Porsche stopping theyr program for him it hurts the most - super talented young racer.
    To be at his age, be a Porsche factory driver in the most advanced and demanding racing series AND be one of the quickest means something.

    I wish he gets the right chances so early in his career and will be able to use them.

    Here he is at the 6h WEC race of Shanghai, winning the race:
    [​IMG]6 hours of Shanghai - 1st place - Porsche 919 Hybrid #1 by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  11. Redvaliant

    Redvaliant
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    A good choice. And he's the first NZr since Mike Thackwell attempted to qualify a slow Tyrrell in 1984 to get a drive in F1.
     
  12. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    I am really pleased to see I'm not the only person who took one look at this guy and thought he was uncomfortably awkward looking! :laugh:
     
  13. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    I mean, really - if you had those facial features, what would compel you to walk into the barbershop and ask for the "mom cut"?
     
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  14. Epistolarius

    Epistolarius
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    Goes to show, you can be a skilled and accomplished driver all you want, you'll still get people trash talking you.
     
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  15. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    Point taken. If it makes you feel any better, now that I have my jokes about the guy's looks out of my system, I will say it's very nice to see a guy getting a shot at a drive on what looks to be pure merit.

    I can't promise not to make more jokes, but I will be watching with great interest to see how he does.
     
  16. Patrik Marek

    Patrik Marek

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    I know it's a same old story, but I would very much rather see them in WEC with Porsche :( still so bummed that series is going downhill, loosing LMP1, but maybe LMP2 will sort of beocme LMP1 and it will still be the best thing racing to watch on TV
     
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  17. Matt Orr

    Matt Orr

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    Hope he does well... then comes to IndyCar to form Team NZ with Dixon at CGR. Biased, of course.

    I think he'll be at CGR next year though, this seems to be just a confluence of events leading to a cool one off. Gasly and the Super Formula championship, needing a super license qualified driver, needing a driver familiar with hybrid race cars, preferring a driver who has actually seen the track and raced there - and hey, he's a ex-Red Bull guy so a nice little reunion I guess.

    May be on to something -

    What is Kvyat's status for next year, and who does the Red Bull operation have on deck? There may be something to this line of thinking if Kvyat's gone and they don't have someone ready to go. Is Red Bull really going to stick with him? Seems like the Red Bull scheme would be flipping to new drivers at Toro Rosso because that is what they do.

    Could also be worth mentioning Penske's IMSA Prototype drivers are announced. If Hartley was destined to IndyCar originally as "Honda's guy" - which is what most reports had it pinned as - you'd expect there to still be a vacancy in the NAEC races in an Acura DPi. Even driving for CGR it could happen, consider Graham Rahal is driving for Penske in IMSA NAEC races next year because he's become one of Honda/HPD's guys, even though RLL runs the BMW GTLM operation.

    It hints that he would do the CGR IndyCar / Ford GT combo if he were to end up at Ganassi as originally suggested, meaning Honda is largely irrelevant there. If Honda/HPD couldn't pull that off, I'm not sure Honda would have enough interest in him to tie him to the F1 operation.

    Just a thought, though.
     
  18. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    Red Bull is fresh out of prospects, as far as i know they got Niko Kari in GP3 (not exactly shinning) and that's it.
    They'll probably absorb Matsushita now.
     
  19. Patrick van der Meulen

    Patrick van der Meulen
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    I think he is a very good choice since he has proven he got the pace in a high demanding and physical equally challenging car, maybe even more because LMP1H are blindingly fast stopping and insane rocket fast accelerating cars. Only because of their weight they are a tad slower midcorner than F1.

    And apart from that, it would be so welcome to see more matured and more widely developed talents in F1 races coming. And he got one step into the triple crown! ;):thumbsup:
     
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  20. gasoline12

    gasoline12
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    When you have Max at 20 and Stroll being 18 admittedly for him his Daddy paid for him to get there, but still at 27 he's hardy the next big thing is he? He's nearer to Lewis's age than Max's..
    I'd rather of seen a young gun in it IMO.
     
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