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Red Bull confirms Brendon Hartley ousting

Red Bull has confirmed the ousting of Brendon Hartley.

It emerged this week that the 20-year-old New Zealander, who in 2010 jointly held the position as Red Bull’s F1 reserve with Daniel Ricciardo, had lost the support of the energy drinks company.

He was in the Red Bull pits at Silverstone, and a few days earlier had been at the wheel of the team’s driver simulator.

On Wednesday, Hartley was still listed on the Red Bull Junior Team website, but at the time of writing on Thursday, his name and results had been removed.

Red Bull confirmed that Jean Eric Vergne will replace Hartley with immediate effect alongside Australian Ricciardo in the Formula Renault 3.5 series team Tech 1.

“The move comes following Red Bull Junior Team’s decision to release Brendon Hartley after four seasons with the programme,” said a statement.

New Zealander Chris Amon, who contested more than 100 grands prix until 1976, said on Thursday that the news is a huge setback in Hartley’s quest to race in formula one.