Former Red Bull test driver Brendon Hartley has re-emerged in the Mercedes camp. The now 22-year-old was dumped by the energy drink company after serving in 2010 as joint F1 reserve driver with Daniel Ricciardo. He was replaced by Ricciardo's now Toro Rosso teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.
It was a huge setback for New Zealander Hartley, but this week for the young driver test at Magny Cours, he is wearing silver colours in the Mercedes garage. The Brackley based team said Hartley has actually been a team simulator driver since 2011. And a statement on Hartley's official website said that "provided everything runs to plan during the first two days of the (Magny Cours) test, (he) will drive the W03 on Thursday".
"Two years ago it was difficult to believe I would have another chance to drive for a top formula one team," said Hartley. "I feel much more prepared in comparison to my first formula one 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."
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mercedes' main test driver Sam Bird is conducting important development testing of the team's 'triple DRS' system as well as a new 'Coanda'-effect exhaust. (GMM)