The lowdown on Brendon Hartley
2017: 23rd. Born: 10/11/1989.
Brendon Hartley is living proof of the adage that you should never give up.
The New Zealander first joined Red Bull’s junior driver programme as a raw teen in 2006, but was dropped in 2010 after failing to make it to F1 status.
He drifted out of single-seaters and tried his luck with sportscars, which earned a test role with Mercedes in 2012-13 and then a race seat with Porsche, winning World Endurance Championship titles in 2015 and 2017 along with a coveted Le Mans 24 Hour success.
However, the German manufacturer was about to leave the prototype format, putting Hartley’s future in doubt once again.
However, a speculative call he’d made to his former boss at Red Bull, Helmut Marko, paid off a few months later as he was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly at the United States Grand Prix.
When Gasly returned for the rest of the season, Hartley was retained ahead of the out-of-favour Daniil Kvyat.
Though he finished only two of his four races, suffering the technical problems that plagued the team throughout the season, he made sufficient impression to earn a race seat for 2018 – his first full campaign at the advanced age of 28.