Brendon Hartley has joined Scuderia Coloni for the final two rounds of the GP2 Series at Monza and Abu Dhabi.
The 20-year-old from New Zealand was dropped from Red Bull's Junior Team programme earlier this year, losing his seat in Formula Renault 3.5 with Tech 1 Racing as a result. Hartley will replace Vladimir Arabadzhiev at Coloni, driving alongside Alvaro Parente, who joined the team at the last round at Spa and gave them a double podium finish.
Hartley said “GP2 is F1's best feeder series so I'm really happy to debut in the championship, even though it will be a big challenge to do so at Monza! I'm very excited to be with Scuderia Coloni: they have been in the championship right from the start in 2005 and they have a great history and a lot of experience. So, I'm confident that I can learn a lot and make the most of the little time I have.
“Obviously I have to keep in mind that I have never driven the car before and I'm competing against drivers that have contested the whole championship. Matching their performance won't be easy, I have managed to do a good job with the Coloni simulator and I'm confident that working with the team we will be able to improve steadily.”
Team boss Paolo Coloni is pleased to have got Hartley on board, although he is realistic in his expectations for Monza given his lack of experience with the car.
“We are very happy to have Brendon with us. He is a highly esteemed and talented driver, who was selected by Red Bull Racing to be their test driver. This recognition is something very rewarding for the team. We face a really big task at Monza as Brendon has never driven a GP2 car, but he has great experience in high-powered cars and the team will support him in the best possible way. We are confident that working together we will be able to find the right pace in the little time available.”