Hartley Gets Wings
New Zealander Brendon Hartley, 19, has been granted his motor racing super-licence and will join Red Bull as a reserve driver, the Formula One team said. The former Palmerston North Boys’ High School student, who is now based in the UK, won the Formula Renault 2.0 World Series for 2007. Hartley will join Red Bull as the reserve driver ahead of next week’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. He will understudy German Sebastien Vettel and Australian Mark Webber, and will take the wheel if either fall ill or get injured leading into the race. “This is a great achievement for Brendon as he is the first New Zealand driver in over three decades to have achieved F1 driver status,” said Motorsport NZ president Steven Kennedy. Hartley most recently raced in Belgium in the second round of the World Series by Renault championship at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Since the Formula One championship began in 1950 only eight New Zealand drivers have competed, most recently Mike Thackwell in 1984.