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'I said I'm ready and my hand's up' - Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley reveals courageous journey to F1 that almost didn't happen

Brendon Hartley's Formula One drive this year may have been a dream come true but it was a dream that came very, very close to never happening.

In a true story of you can't get what you don’t ask for, Hartley has revealed he approached Toro Rosso boss Helmut Marko, rather than the other way around, to race for the Italian crew.

"When I told him, I said I'm ready and my hand's up," he said.

"You could hear that he was thinking about it - he didn't tell me no.

"He also didn't say much which anyone who knows him well, they'll understand all that."

Getting a F1 chance was hard enough, but what many people don't know is that prior commitments and contracts meant the deal very nearly fell over.

"There was a few moments that it was touch and go let's say that."

But now that the Kiwi driver is home, there’s one thing at the top of his Christmas list

"I crave feijoas!"