Brendon Hartley has joined the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team at the Young Driver Test in Magny Cours this week. As one of the team’s simulator development drivers, Brendon is gaining some experience with the team at the track, and provided everything runs to plan during the first two days of the test, the 22 year-old New Zealander will drive the F1 W03 car on Thursday.
Hartley is of course well-known for being a member of the Red Bull young driver programme for four years, which gave him the opportunity to be F1 reserve driver for both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2009 and 2010. Since this deal ended in 2010 Brendon has raced in World Series by Renault, GP2 and most recently leading LMP2 in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Brendon has been a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS simulator development driver since 2011 so Thursday’s test is a great opportunity for him to turn a lot of hard work into reality.
Brendon said: “It’s a great chance for me to prove myself and work alongside the race team but ultimately I am there to help develop the race car, and to correlate and validate the simulator.”
“Two years ago it was difficult to believe I would have another chance to drive for a top Formula 1 team, I have worked hard behind the scenes with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and have stayed motivated and focused. I feel much more prepared in comparison to my first Formula 1 test in 2008 when I was just 18 and fresh out of Formula 3. Since then I have learnt a lot about, both myself and the business of racing, and I will do my best to make the most of this opportunity!”
The official young driver test started yesterday at Magny Cours and runs until Thursday.
Source: Brendon Hartley Press