Hartley to race Formula Renault

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In his quest for a Superlicense to become the thrid driver for Red Bull, Brendon Hartley, Kiwi phenom, has been selected to drive in at least three races for Tech 1 in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

Tech 1 boss Simon Abadie said: “Brendon will do at least the first three events of the 2009 season with us. Depending on his availability, either he’ll continue with us for the rest of the year or he’ll be replaced by another Red Bull driver.

“With Charles and Brendon we’re ideally armed to have a great season. Our recognition by the Renault Driver Development programme and by the Red Bull Junior Team proves that Tech 1 Racing has moved up to another level and gained in renown.”

Maybe it’s just me but I am very interested in seeing this young man drive. Seems like a lot of support has been funneled his way so you just never know what Red Bull has up its sleeve.

The Wiki Bio for reference:

Hartley was born in a family well integrated within motorsport. His father, Bryan, had raced in many forms of motorsport, most notably Formula Atlantic. At the age of six, Hartley began his motor racing career in kart racing, following his brother, Nelson’s footsteps. Six years later, the young New Zealander competed in his first full–scale race championship, competing in the Formula First category. Up against many seasoned veterans, Hartley finished the season in seventh. In 2003, the thirteen year old got his first major break as he won that year’s New Zealand Formula Ford Festival which resulted in him getting a drive for the following year’s Formula Ford championship. In a car his brother used the previous year, he started four races and won two of them.

After a season in Formula Toyota New Zealand, Hartley moved to Europe, competing in the Eurocup Formula Renault and Formula Renault Northern European Cup (NEC). The New Zealander finished 14th and 10th in the Drivers’ Championship in the Eurocup and North European Cup respectively, taking a podium position at Anderstorp in the latter. His second year in Formula Renault saw him stay in the Eurocup, but move from the NEC to the Italian championship. That year saw him take three wins in the Eurocup and three podiums in the Italian championship, and took championship title in the Eurocup. In 2007 Hartley also made his Formula Three debut in the Masters of Formula 3 at Zolder event. He finished an incredibly respectable 4th. This resulted in a test with A1 Team New Zealand and the role of the rookie driver for the series.

In 2008, Hartley competed in the British Formula Three Championship for Carlin Motorsport winning five times and eventually finished the championship in third. He would have placed higher up, due to a greater amount of retirements compared to that of his team-mates Jaime Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey. They had two each, while Hartley had six. He also competed in eight races in the Formula Three Euroseries for Carlin and RC Motorsport, and achieved two finishes in the points, although he was ineligible for points. In non-championship races, Hartley finished fifth at the Masters of Formula 3, and a sensational drive at the Macau Grand Prix to finish third, after crashing in the qualification race. He started 20th on the grid and recorded the fastest race lap. He will stay with Carlin for the full F3 Euroseries in 2009[1] and will also compete in the first three rounds of the 2009 World Series by Renault season for the defending champion Tech 1 Racing team.[2]

[edit] Formula One

In February 2008, aged 18, Hartley got his first taste of Formula One. He was invited to perform a show run for Red Bull Racing in Riyadh. From here he performed the initial 3 day shake down test for Scuderia Toro Rosso’s 2008 spec car, the STR3.

In November 2008, it was announced he would be providing cover for Mark Webber, who had broken his leg in a cycling accident, by performing testing duties alongside permanent test driver Sébastien Buemi for Red Bull in the 2008 RB4 F1 car.[3]

For the 2009 season, Hartley was appointed as official reserve driver for both the Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso teams.[4]

However, unable to get a mandatory superlicence, he was replaced in this role by retired F1 driver David Coulthard for the first races in Melbourne and Sepang.

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