Toro Rosso bring in Brendon Hartley for US Grand Prix

Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly of France walks

Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly of France walks

The New Zealand driver Brendan Hartley will race for Toro Rosso at next week's US Formula One Grand Prix in Texas.

The 27-year-old Kiwi will now race in his first Formula 1 Grand Prix, with Gasly contesting the Super Formula finale with Team Mugen at Suzuka.

"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".

He held the role of Red Bull's reserve driver from 2009-2010 and completed a test for Red Bull in 2008 as well as two for Toro Rosso in 2009 before being dropped from the programme. If Toro Rosso and Hartley can't successfully come to an arrangement, the team will look to Sebastian Buemi, who previously raced for the Red Bull Junior Team as well. "I'm trying not to put too many expectations on my F1 debut, but I feel ready for it".

However, with his success at this year's Le Mans 24 Hour race as well as a chance to secure a title this weekend in the World Endurance Championship in Fuji, Japan, Toro Rosso have opted to give the Kiwi a taste of the big lights.

According to Autosport, Gasly will return to Super Formula next week to battle for the title with the Frenchman trailing Hiroaki Ishiura by half a point.

"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 other auto will be driven by Daniil Kvyat, who returns after being dropped in favour of Gasly two races ago.

"What an unbelievable feeling", said the 27-year-old.

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost said he was delighted for Hartley, describing him as part of the Red Bull family.

You'll note that the other driver can't be Kvyat: he has already returned in the other vehicle, having replaced Carlos Sainz Jr, who went off to Renault as part of a new engine deal between Honda and the two teams.

Less than a year later he began providing testing in Mark Webber's place after the Aussie had suffered an injury, and for the 2009 season was the official reserve driver for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

"I'm convinced he'll do a fantastic job for us".

The last New Zealander to race in Formula One was Mike Thackwell 33 years ago.

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