It has been billed by some as a left field choice. But is it really so strange that Brendon Hartley should be given a Formula 1 chance with Toro Rosso at this weekend's United States Grand Prix at Austin?
It would not have been regarded as such had the New Zealander landed some kind of F1 drive when he was still a member of the Red Bull junior programme or in the years afterwards as he continued to plough a furrow in junior single-seaters. Yet Brendon Hartley 2.0 in 2017 is not only a better driver who can call himself a world champion, he is far more qualified for a race seat at the pinnacle of the sport.
The reason is his four-season stint with the Porsche LMP1 team in the World Endurance Championship since 2014. Experience of sportscar racing will help any young driver on the up because they have to work with a team that is bigger and more complex than any they are likely have encountered on their way up in single-seaters. Multiply that by a massive factor in Hartley's case because he has been driving for a factory P1 squad in the current era of hybrid technology.