Toro Rosso keep F1 guessing ahead of US Grand Prix

Gasly out of USGP, will contest Super Formula final

After serving as Red Bull's official driver in 2009 and 2010, Hartley was dropped from the junior programme, but had another opportunity in F1 with Mercedes at a young driver test for Mercedes in 2012.

Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber win 2017 Le Mans.

Who Gasly's replacement will be is yet to be confirmed, but the Frenchman is expected to be back in a Formula 1 seat at Toro Rosso for the final three races of the season, and is still the most likely replacement for Sainz Jr.in 2018.

According to Autosport, Hartley is the leading contender to drive for Toro Rosso in Austin in a fortnight with regular driver Pierre Gasly returning to Super Formula on the same weekend in an attempt to try and secure the title.

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

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.

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

Having fielded Gasly alongside the departing Carlos Sainz in Japan, Toro Rosso will become the first team since Lotus in 1994 to run an entirely new driver line-up in consecutive Grands Prix.

With that in mind, Toro Rosso and Red Bull have lined up Buemi, who raced for Red Bull's junior team between 2009 and 2011, to step in if a deal for Hartley can not be agreed.

"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", Tost said.

Hartley chases world title, B6New Zealander Brendon Hartley is poised to join Formula One, completing an ambitious journey to the highest level that started half a lifetime ago.

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

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