Kiwi racer Brendon Hartley will be hoping history repeats itself at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend as he tries to secure his Formula 1 future.

Back in 1968 three New Zealanders dominated the race in the most successful Formula 1 event for the country. Chris Amon led 73 laps of the 90-lap race before the bad luck that plagued his career came to the fore and his gearbox let go on him. Compatriot Denny Hulme took over the lead and went on to win the race ahead of fellow New Zealander Bruce McLaren in a one-two McLaren/Kiwi finish.

Now 50 years on Hartley could use a bit of that Kiwi success.

The likeable 28-year-old is under pressure to retain his seat at Toro Rosso with former Toyota Racing Series winner and current Formula 2 star Lando Norris the latest to be linked to the Red Bull-backed team.

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Norris is under contract with McLaren, who reportedly knocked back an offer for him to immediately jump into Formula 1 with Toro Rosso. The move to try and acquire the Brit's services is further indication Hartley could be axed at any time.

Hartley is yet to really demonstrate his ability at this level – partly due to a seriously under-powered Toro Rosso-Honda, partly due to some bad luck and partly thanks to a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes from the Le Mans winner.

He can drive – make no mistake of that. You don't have the success Hartley has had without being able to mix it with the best in the world and if he was afforded a whole season in the sport I have little doubt he'd demonstrate that better.

But Formula 1 is so cut-throat and Red Bull are famously impatient when it comes to results.

Hartley wouldn't comment on any of the rumours but insisted he had a contract that guaranteed him a drive all season. "I know what my contract says and I know the work that I've been doing behind the scenes," he told motorsport.com. "I know I have the ability to be here and do a good job in Formula 1.

"Obviously things haven't gone perfectly to plan, we've only scored points in one race, many of those races we didn't have, by far, points-to-score races.

"Pierre only scored points in two races, which in different circumstances I could have as well, but there's no reason why I can't turn it around.

"People seem to forget very quickly in Formula 1 and only remember the last event, so hopefully it will be a different headline after this weekend."

Hartley will get the benefit of an engine upgrade on the Toro Rosso Honda, which has been planned for a number of weeks. It is expected to see the car be able to more evenly compete against rivals on the high power circuits like they will face in Montreal this week.

Meanwhile Hartley is trying to alleviate the pressure he is currently under by remembering the fact that he's living his dream as a Formula 1 racer.

"I'm enjoying it," he said. "I do have to remind myself why I'm doing it and why I'm enjoying it, [because] there's a lot of pressure involved.

"It's very easy to get caught up in all the pressures that are involved in Formula 1 and to lose sight in the absolute pleasure and why we are all here."

Here's hoping the dream lasts a while longer.