Formula 1

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Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley set to start first Grand Prix from the back of the grid

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Formula 1 and Toro Rosso rookie Brendon Hartley is set to start his first Grand Prix from the back of the grid at this weekend's United States Grand Prix in Austin. 

As if making his F1 debut was a daunting prospect in itself, the 27-year-old will be chasing the pack from the very start, regardless of his qualifying performance. 

That's after team principal Franz Tost announced the New Zealander will be driving with a completely new power unit due to mileage issues with both cars which, according to Autosport, could prompt a punishment of 30 places on the grid on Sunday.

The decision to apply new engine units to the cars was made before it was decided Hartley would be making his first F1 start in the car - which Pierre Gasly drove in the last two races - this weekend.

It is also seen as a rather left-field decision for the young driver, who has had no previous Formula 1 experience.

Nevertheless, Hartley has picked up plenty of racing experience during a four-season stint at the Porsche LMP1 team racing in the World Endurance Championship and will hope he can still impress.

His Toro Rosso car will be using its sixth V6, turbo and MGU-H and fifth energy store and control electronics - hence the likeliness of a severe punishment.

"These days I've talked a lot with team engineers. I cannot wait to get on the track in the first free practice. I think I can be ready, even if I have not been in a car for so long," Hartley said.

F1 Grand Prix of USA - Previews

"I was not told anything precise about the goals for the weekend," the New Zealander continued.

"I just want to do my best. I do not want to put too many expectations, I just want to have fun. I know this track very well, having run in other categories."

It is thought that Max Verstappen of Red Bull will also take power unit penalty at Austin. Although when asked about the matter at Thursday's press conference, the Dutchman refused to give much away.

Verstappen said: "We'll find out tomorrow. I'm not sure whether it's going to happen here, or in the next races. You'll hear it tomorrow."

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Topics:
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Daniil Kvyat
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Formula 1
Toro Rosso
Daniil Kvyat

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