Brendon Hartley on Monday said he is not focusing on whether he will now return to the role as Red Bull's Formula One reserve driver. When the New Zealand teenager was replaced in the dual Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso backup role after ...
Brendon Hartley on Monday said he is not focusing on whether he will now return to the role as Red Bull's Formula One reserve driver.
When the New Zealand teenager was replaced in the dual Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso backup role after Silverstone, he insisted it was his decision to concentrate instead on his formative racing career.
But just one race into his successor Jaime Alguersuari's new appointment, the teenaged Spaniard has been promoted to replace Sebastien Bourdais as race driver at Toro Rosso.
"I knew some time ago that Alguersuari would get the Toro Rosso drive and I have to say when I first heard the news, I was obviously disappointed," Hartley told the NZPA news agency.
"But in fact I think, for me, it would be really the wrong decision to be driving in Formula One right now," he added.
"I didn't really expect to be the driver to replace Bourdais and I feel I don't deserve to be a Formula One driver yet.
"If I was put there, okay it would be nice and exciting, but I have to say to myself, well, what is everyone else going to say if I didn't really deserve to be there," said Hartley.
Hartley indicated that now returning to the reserve driver role is not a priority.
"It's more important I get some results and prove myself," he said, referring to his race seats in European F3 and the Renault World Series.
"To be a Formula One reserve driver was ahead of my goals and it was nice to be there but in the end we made a decision it was too much."
It is also reported that accompanying Alguersuari into the Toro Rosso cockpit at the Hungaroring this weekend is about 2m euros in personal sponsorship.
Hartley doesn't refer specifically to his fellow teenager's reported Repsol and La Cauxa backing but acknowledges there is "a lot reasons" he is not yet on the grid.
"There is a lot of politics and money and sponsorship goes a long way when you are trying to get a seat there," he admitted.