TEAM NEWS: Newly crowned Formula Renault Eurocup champion Brendon Hartley has signed with Carlin Motorsport for the 2008 British F3 championship. The 17 year-old Red Bull driver will also race for the team at the Macau Grand Prix later this month.
Hartley dominated the 2007 Eurocup season, taking eight podium positions and four race wins. Finishing in the points in 12 out of 14 races, Hartley was able to take the title with two races remaining.
Having tasted success in the junior levels of the sport, the young New Zealander now makes the jump to British Formula 3, which has long been the training ground for the stars of the future. F1 legends Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen all took the British F3 title before going on to become F1 champions.
Carlin are three times winners of the prestigious championship and have finished runner-up on five occasions. The Hampshire based squad are also the most successful in British F3 history, having won 79 British F3 races. Hartley follows in the footsteps of Narain Karthikeyan, Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson, Alan van der Merwe, Alvaro Parente and Sebastian Vettel who have all driven for Carlin in F3.
The British F3 championship consists of 11 rounds over a seven month period. The championship kicks off at Oulton Park on 24 March and finishes in Donington Park on 5 October taking in famous circuits such as Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Silverstone on the way.
Speaking about his new team, Hartley commented, “I’m really excited that I’ll be racing in British F3 next year and very pleased that I’ll be joining Carlin Motorsport. As the best team in the championship, I know they will give me the best possible chance of challenging for race wins and the title. British F3 is a great step up; it’s a very well respected championship with good links to F1 and I can’t wait for testing to get underway.”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin said, “I’m absolutely delighted to have Brendon with us for the 2008 season. Brendon has proven himself to be a quick and talented driver in Formula Renault Eurocup and I’m sure he will be a great asset to the team.
“Red Bull clearly believe that British F3 is the best place for Brendon to further his career. Despite his achievements to date, he is still a very young driver and the British F3 championship will allow him to develop as a driver through a busy test and race programme.
“Our history of running Red Bull drivers in Formula BMW UK and World Series by Renault has shown us that the programme produces great all-round drivers and I’m delighted that this relationship has now extended into F3. We are proud that Red Bull have chosen Carlin Motorsport as the team to return to the British F3 championship with and we are confident that we will provide Brendon with the best possible car to challenge for the championship.”