Who is new F1 debutant Brendon Hartley?

From ESPN - October 13, 2017

New Zealander Brendon Hartley will make his Formula One debut at the U.S. Grand Prix and, as Toro Rosso's official confirmation put it, it is an opportunity nearly a decade in the making.

Hartley was named a Red Bull junior in 2007 alongside a batch of drivers including Daniel Ricciardo. He contested that year's Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and won a series including future F1 drivers Jaime Alguersuari, Charles Pic, Roberto Merhi, Jules Bianchi and Ricciardo.

After being named official reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in 2008, and testing twice for the latter, a move to British Formula 3 followed, where he finished third ahead of Sergio Perez and Marcus Ericsson. However, fellow Red Bull junior Alguersuari won the title and would step up to a Toro Rosso drive mid-way through the following season.

Hartley had to make do with a role as Red Bull reserve driver in 2009, a job he shared with Ricciardo, as he struggled for form in Formula Renault 3.5. He partnered Ricciardo in the 2010 season but was dropped from the driver programme mid-way through that campaign, being replaced in the series by Jean-Eric Vergne, who would drive for Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013.

Speaking to ESPN during winter testing this season, Ricciardo said he rated Hartley as one of his toughest opponents in the early days of his Red Bull career and even credits the Kiwi as one of the reasons he was able to overcome homesickness after his initial move to Europe from Australia.


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