Kiwi Brendon Hartley will start his debut Formula 1 race from the back of the grid after his Toro Rosso team was hit with a penalty.

The team opted to change his car's power unit ahead of the US Grand Prix, earning the automatic grid penalty.

Hartley will still take part in the three practice sessions starting at 4am tomorrow (NZT) but won't have the pressure of having to try and qualify the car further up the grid.

Team boss Franz Tost confirmed to Motorsport.com that the team had made the call to make the power unit change even before Hartley had been signed for the one-off start.

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He will most likely receive a 30-place grid penalty though the exact punishment has not yet been confirmed.

Toro Rosso has decided to make the same call with their other car - driven by Daniil Kvyat - at next week's Mexican Grand Prix.

There is a chance that Red Bull could opt to change the power unit in Max Verstappen's car as well, which would incur the same penalty for Monday's race.