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Hartley says debut F1 point would be ‘a dream’ from last on grid

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Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.

Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.

“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.

“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”

The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.

“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.

“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.

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.