Hartley axed from Red Bull junior team UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Red Bull has confirmed the ousting of Brendon Hartley.
It emerged this week that the 20-year-old New Zealander, who in 2010 jointly held the position as Red Bull's F1 reserve with Daniel Ricciardo, had lost the support of the energy drinks company. He was in the Red Bull pits at Silverstone, and a few days earlier had been at the wheel of the team's driver simulator.
On Wednesday, Hartley was still listed on the Red Bull Junior Team website, but at the time of writing on Thursday, his name and results had been removed.
Red Bull confirmed that Jean Eric Vergne will replace Hartley with immediate effect alongside Australian Ricciardo in the Formula Renault 3.5 series team Tech 1.
"The move comes following Red Bull Junior Team's decision to release Brendon Hartley after four seasons with the program," said a statement.
New Zealander Chris Amon, who contested more than 100 grands prix until 1976, said on Thursday that the news is a huge setback in Hartley's quest to race in formula one. 07/21/10 (GMM) Brendon Hartley's management has declined to confirm reports the 20-year-old New Zealander has been axed by Red Bull.
Alongside Daniel Ricciardo in 2010, Hartley was the energy drink company's joint formula one reserve driver, and recently attended the British grand prix.
But unconfirmed blog reports on Tuesday suggested Hartley, racing this year in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, has been ousted from the Red Bull Junior Team.
It is claimed Frenchman Jean Eric Vergne, driving in British F3, is the replacement, but at the time of writing Hartley is still listed on the Junior Team website.
According to the NZPA news agency, Hartley's management refused to confirm the reports.
But Auckland radio NewstalkZB on Wednesday quoted Hartley as saying he is "looking for another team" because of his severed ties with Red Bull.07/20/10 A big blow to the Formula One aspirations of New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley.
Hartley has been axed from Red Bull's junior team which competes in the Renault World Series. He has struggled on the track this season, sitting in sixth place, having failed to win a race.
Hartley has been working as one of Red Bull's Formula One test drivers this season and has been the reserve driver in the past.
Hartley says he is now looking for another team with his hopes of securing a Formula One drive for Red Bull now over.