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Hartley to make F1 debut from back of grid after penalty

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Brendon Hartley’s hopes of a points finish on his Formula 1 debut took a hit on Friday after the FIA confirmed the Toro Rosso driver will start the United States Grand Prix from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso as a surprise replacement for Pierre Gasly in Austin, with the Frenchman tied up with Super Formula duties at Suzuka this weekend.

Hartley took to the track in an official grand prix session for the first time on Friday in Austin, marking his first run-out in an F1 car since a test with Mercedes in 20120.

However, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed in his pre-race report that changes had been made to the power unit on Hartley’s Toro Rosso car since the last race in Japan, triggering a grid penalty.

Toro Rosso elected to take a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics on Hartley’s Renault power unit, totaling a 25-place grid drop that will be applied after qualifying. Confirmation of the penalty is set to follow later today.

The penalty comes as a setback for Hartley, but was necessary as Toro Rosso found itself short on engine elements to get to the end of the season.

Hartley is not the only driver to have a penalty confirmed, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also taking new engine elements, also confirmed in Bauer’s report.

A new ICE, turbocharger and MGU-H for Hulkenberg will see him drop 20 places on the grid, while an eighth ICE of the year for Vandoorne will trigger a five-place drop.

Lewis Hamilton reflects on journey to top of F1 (VIDEO)

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In “The Value of Difference,” a video piece produced by Mercedes AMG Petronas partner UBS, Lewis Hamilton’s journey to the top of the Formula 1 world is chronicled.

Hamilton’s rise came through his youthful years and took a lot of people to believe in him. But even as he’s made it to become a four-time World Champion, he still has more to learn and further to grow.

“I’m at the pinnacle of motorsport right now, but naturally everyday I feel like I’m growing, I’m always learning something new,” Hamilton said in the video.

“I’m not perfect by any means. I’ve got so much to learn. Of course I’ve gone through ups and downs, I’ve definitely gone through fears and worries and where I’ve come from, I’ve come from the ground up.”

You can watch the video above.