Who is new F1 debutant Brendon Hartley?

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Brendon Hartley poised for Formula 1 debut

And in light of a new deal to make his Formula 1 debut next week at Circuit of The Americas, Scuderia Toro Rosso agrees.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost reportedly wants to use the next race as a chance to evaluate a new driver to add to next year's roster with current driver Pierre Gasly remaining a favourite to retain one of the team's cars, but the other now still up in the air.

Hartley, this year's Le Mans 24 Hours victor and 2015 World Endurance Champion, becomes the first Kiwi driver to start an F1 race since Mike Thackwell in 1984.

The 27-year-old and Porsche factory driver is no stranger to F1, having been Red Bull's reserve driver in 2009 and 2010 before he was dropped from the company's driver development program.

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 global sports auto racing once it became apparent transitioning to a full-time ride was not in the cards.

Gasly has competed in the last two Formula One races after replacing Daniil Kvyat, but the Frenchman will be competing in the last race of the Super Formula Championship in Japan at the same time.

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Hartley will take the seat of Pierre Gasly, who will turn out in the Asian Super Formula championship finale instead. With Carlos Sainz departing to Renault, the team looks set to hand a full-time role to Gasly, who impressed in Malaysia and Japan, but the team has doubts about Kvyat, who has endured a hard time since being demoted from Red Bull in 2016.

"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".

Hartley, 27, said it was an fantastic feeling to be contemplating a debut at last and felt ready for it at a track he already knows from world endurance.

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. COTA is a track I really enjoy and one I have raced at recently.

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.

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

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