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Mentor Kenny Smith confident Brendon Hartley will take Formula One deal

13 October, 2017, 20:23 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Mark Webber Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard

Gasly was initially handed Daniil Kvyat's F1 auto for two races, Malaysia and Japan, however, Carlos Sainz's early move to Renault means he'll be staying with the team for the remainder of this season.

Kiwi takes pole position for drive at US Grand Prix, writes Dale Budge.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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However, acquiring the Kiwi will require some ironing out by the Italian Formula 1 team - the 27-year-old is now contracted to Porsche in the World Endurance Championship - a competition he could win this weekend with a solid performance in Fuji.

"The Austin track is one 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.

"We are really happy to have him back in our team".

With current driver, and main point's scorer Carlos Sainz Jr. making an early move to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for the next race in Austin, Kvyat was already set to return to Toro Rosso at the next round of the season. "With all the racing experience accumulated over the years, we are convinced that he will do a fantastic job for us".

Should he compete in the race he will become New Zealand's first F1 driver since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

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