‘Mentor’ tips Hartley to accept Toro Rosso seat

Oct.13 (GMM) New Zealander Brendon Hartley is expected to be drafted into Toro Rosso’s lineup for a one-off appearance next weekend in Austin.

We reported on Tuesday this week that, at 2018 Honda partner Honda’s request, Pierre Gasly will skip the US grand prix in order to fight for the Super Formula title.

“We cannot deny their (Honda’s) wish,” Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko confirmed.

We also reported that the list of potential one-off replacements for Gasly was vast, featuring Robert Kubica, Sergey Sirotkin, Sebastien Buemi and even Takuma Sato and Indycar champion Josef Newgarden.

But media outlets including the Spanish sports daily Marca now report that the frontrunner is in fact Brendon Hartley.

Hartley, now 27, was a Red Bull junior driver in 2009 and 2010, jointly holding the position as official F1 reserve with Daniel Ricciardo.

The energy drinks company dropped him mid-season.

He subsequently became a top LMP1 sports car driver for the works Porsche team, and was a teammate of Mark Webber’s as he won the 2015 world endurance championship.

Hartley followed up that triumph with victory at Le Mans this year and another WEC title.

Kenny Smith, who according to the New Zealand media source Newshub is Hartley’s ‘mentor’, thinks the driver will jump at the chance to race for Toro Rosso next weekend.

“He’d have to go to formula one because that has been his main aim from his early days, and what he has been aiming for,” Smith said.

“There is always time to go back to Indycars because he is still young.”

Related News

  • 12/12/2018 Sirotkin to test DTM, Hartley to Porsche Dec.12 (GMM) Sergey Sirotkin could keep his motor racing career alive in the German touring car series DTM. SMP Racing, his Russian sponsor, said the Williams refugee has been invited by […]
  • 20/11/2017 Hartley had 2018 contract for ‘weeks’ Nov.20 (GMM) Brendon Hartley says he has known for "several weeks" that he will be driving for Toro Rosso next year. Earlier, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and the New Zealander insisted they did […]
  • 07/12/2018 Hartley thought he had ‘long term contract’ Dec.7 (GMM) His F1 adventure may be over for now, but Brendon Hartley says his motor racing career is still very much alive. Having been given a second chance by Red Bull and Toro Rosso, […]
  • 06/01/2018 Hartley to focus only on F1 in 2018 Jan.6 (GMM) Brendon Hartley says he will concentrate exclusively on formula one this year. As he rebuilt his career following his departure from the Red Bull programme some years ago, […]
  • 08/01/2019 Hartley’s father slams Ferrari ‘rumours’ Jan.8 (GMM) Brendon Hartley's father has slammed "rumours" the ousted Toro Rosso racer will become a simulator driver for Ferrari. After a year on the grid, Le Mans winner Hartley has […]
  • 27/02/2018 McLaren dumping Honda was ‘mistake’ – Hartley Feb.27 (GMM) Brendon Hartley thinks McLaren dumping Honda at the end of last year was "a mistake". "I think they've made a mistake," the New Zealander told Marca sports newspaper on […]
  • 20/10/2017 Hartley not ruling out longer F1 adventure Oct.20 (GMM) Brendon Hartley says his future is unclear beyond Sunday's US grand prix. The New Zealander, who last tested an F1 car for Mercedes in 2012, has been drafted into Toro […]
  • 01/03/2018 Honda ‘perfect’ at Toro Rosso so far – Hartley Mar.1 (GMM) Brendon Hartley says there is no sign of the sort of three-year horror that McLaren endured with Honda so far in 2018. With McLaren and Honda divorcing, the Japanese supplier […]
  • 02/05/2018 Le Mans will make Alonso ‘tired’ – Hartley May 2 (GMM) Brendon Hartley is expecting Fernando Alonso to be "pretty tired" as his split duties between F1 and Le Mans racing kick off. Spaniard Alonso is already at Spa Francorchamps, […]
  • 31/01/2019 Hartley says F1 exit rumours started at Monaco Brendon Hartley says it was clear as far back as last year's Monaco grand prix that Red Bull would oust him. The New Zealander was a surprise draft into the junior team Toro Rosso's […]