Hartley studying hard for US GP test

How does a young rookie prepare for his Formula 1 debut? By reading the manual, of course.

At the Circuit of the Americas this weekend, 27-year-old Brendon Hartley has been called upon to replace Pierre Gasly in a surprise move by the Toro Rosso team.

While Hartley is no stranger to racing at the highest level – he’s won the 24 Hours of LeMans and is on his way to a second WEC title – he admits he’s not as familiar with the complexities of driving a modern F1 car as he should be.

Hartley last raced an open-wheel car in 2011, and admitted his own surprise at Toro Rosso choosing him as a late replacement for Gasly, who will attempt to win a Super Formula championship in Japan on Sunday.

Mastering a F1 vehicle is far more complex an undertaking than most people realise, as Hartly recently confirmed when he revealed that he had been handed a hefty driver’s manual in preparation for this weekend’s grand prix.

“I’ve just been handed a 50-page drivers manual, I’ve got to learn all the procedures of the car, the steering wheel. I’ll do the F1 press conference on Thursday which will also be a first for me.”

“Practice starts Friday – there’s four hours of testing before qualifying and I”d like to think that will be enough to get up to speed.

“There’s been no expectations given, the expectations will come from within. I’d love to exceed everyone’s expectations but no one has put a number on it, or a result on it.”

We wish Hartley the best of luck, and hope he’s studying hard.