Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Hartley confirms new Toro Rosso shakedown 04 Apr 2008

Brendon Hartley (NZL) Carlin Motorsport. British Formula Three and GT Media Day, Silverstone, England, 6 March 2008. World © Sutton

New Zealand teenager Brendon Hartley has confirmed reports that he tested Toro Rosso’s new 2008 car during an intensive three-day shakedown session at Vairano in Italy last week.

With Toro Rosso race drivers Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais overseas for the Malaysian and Bahrain Grands Prix, Red Bull junior team member Hartley was called up for the debut of the STR3, which ran in a plain, dark blue livery.

“There’s been a lot happening in the last few weeks that I haven’t been able to speak about,” said Hartley on his official website. “The Formula One testing with Toro Rosso was a confidential development session for a car that is yet to be publicly launched.”

“What I can share is that it was a privilege to be invited to drive the new car for the first time. The sensations and the performance were incredible. The levels of grip and acceleration were simply amazing.”

It was not Hartley’s first taste of a Formula One car. He demonstrated a Red Bull machine in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh last month after an initial familiarisation session at Britain’s Silverstone circuit.

Hartley is currently competing in the British International Formula Three championship for Carlin Motorsport. Last year he became the youngest ever winner of the Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup.