Alguersuari replaces Hartley as Red Bull reserve

Red Bull has announced that reigning British F3 driver Jaime Alguersuari has taken over as the reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, replacing Brendon Hartley who has occupied the role since the Spanish Grand Prix. Alguersuari became the youngest winner of British F3 last year, and is currently racing in the World Series by Renault.

With the ban on in-season testing, Red Bull views the appointment of a third driver as part of its Young Driver training program, allowing a driver to follow all activities of the F1 teams over a race weekend, attending technical briefings and listening in on the pit to car radio conversations. Having benefited from this experience over the first half of the year, Hartley will now concentrate on his own racing program in the European F3 series.

Unlike Hartley, Alguersuari has never driven a Formula One car at an official F1 test, but thanks to his F3 triumph last season, is automatically entitled to an FIA Superlicense, allowing him to compete in F1 race weekends should the need arise. However, without the experience of driving an F1 racer in anger, questions are likely to be raised as to the 19-year-old's qualifications for the job.

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