The 2017 Le Mans winner impressed team bosses during the United States GP on October 22 (US time). After starting from 19th position due to a 25 place grid penalty for an engine swap (no fault of his own), Hartley brought the #39 Toro Rosso car home in 13th place. Over the last 15 laps, Hartley was consistently quicker than team mate Daniil Kvyat and even beat his fastest lap. This was an incredible display of skill considering Hartley hasn't driven an open wheeler in half a decade, let alone a modern hybrid F1 racer. As a result, Toro Rosso has decided to give the kiwi another shot at the upcoming Mexican GP.
Of his inaugural performance the humble Palmerston North bred bloke said: "It was tough out there, but it's been an awesome debut Grand Prix! It's all starting to sink in now and it won't be until I go to bed tonight and put my eyes at rest that I'll start to process everything... I didn't do the best of standing starts, but it's been a long time since I did one of those! After that, I was in many battles and I'm satisfied with my race – the pace was pretty strong, especially at the end. I think the only small mistake I made was getting overtaken by Stroll a quarter into the race, as I couldn't pass him back and he held me up a bit. So there's been lots of challenges, lots of things to learn and I hope I get another shot at it to put all these experiences into practice! I've enjoyed every single moment of this race weekend and I'd like to thank the whole team for this, it's been amazing!"
Hartley will start in the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, October 29 (US time).