Red Bull duo join Carlin for F3

Red Bull drivers Brendon Hartley and Daniel Ricciardo will join Carlin Motorsport’s Formula 3 teams for the 2009 season.

19 year-old Hartley will spend his second season with the team as he makes the switch to F3 Euro Series, while Daniel Ricciardo will join the British F3 champions for his first full year of Formula 3. Hartley completed his first season of Formula 3 racing with Carlin in the 2008 British F3 Series.

The New Zealander was among the front runners throughout the year, with his five race wins only matched by eventual champion and fellow Carlin driver Jaime Alguersuari. Hartley set four fastest laps during the season, and his outright speed was reflected by 10 front row starts – more than any other driver throughout the season. While carrying out an extensive winter test program with Carlin, Hartley has combined his F3 duties with a test in the Red Bull Racing F1 car in December.

Taking part in his first full F1 test, the young racer impressed onlookers with his ability to adapt to the F1 machine. Heading straight from F1 testing in Jerez, Hartley joined Carlin in Valencia, where he completed the team’s final F3 test of 2008.

2008 Formula Renault Eurocup vice champion Daniel Ricciardo follows a similar career path to his Red Bull team mate in joining Carlin’s championship winning British F3 team. The 19 year driver was a front runner in the 2008 Formula Renault Eurocup championship, taking six wins and seven podiums throughout the season, to finish just four points shy of the title.

The Australian racer learnt his race craft in the 2006 Formula BMW Asia championship, where he finished third and went on to finish fifth in that year’s Formula BMW World Final. Ricciardo went on to compete in the Formula Renault Italy championship in 2007, his success attracting the attention of Red Bull who made him part of the Junior Team for the 2008 season.

Team principal Trevor Carlin added, “Brendon is a very valued and well liked member of the team. He showed stunning pace in British F3 last year and towards the end of the season a new maturity and confidence emerged in his racing which I’m sure we’ll see again in F3 Euro Series in 2009.

“In British F3 we’ll be joined by Daniel Ricciardo and I’m delighted that Red Bull have entrusted us with one of their most promising young drivers. Daniel has been fantastic so far in testing; he’s been quick, consistent and has gelled really well into the team. 2009 will be his first full year in F3, but I think we can expect some great performances from him."

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