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Hartley sets third fastest time in F1 test

Hartley sets third fastest time in F1 test

Palmerston North race driver Brendon Hartley marked his return to the F1 cockpit with the third fastest time as he got himself up to speed with the Mercedes W03 yesterday.

The New Zealander has been working with the Mercedes F1 team in the race simulator team, which operates in parallel with the F1 race team to develop the race car. He had not tested an F1 car ‘live’ for several years, but improved steadily throughout the day as he continued work on the team's new exhaust layout.

"It was an amazing feeling to be back driving a Formula 1 car today, and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity," he said.

"The track was quite wet this morning so we lost some time but once it had dried out, we were able to get on with the test programme, using mainly the hard tyre. It was a successful day for both me and the team, and we completed the programme despite the weather.

"I'm very happy with my performance and pleased that it only took a couple of runs before I was on the pace as it's been three years since I last drove a Formula 1 car. I'm really grateful for the experience and really enjoyed working with the team today."

Brendon Hartley was the first ever race winner in New Zealand’s premier ‘open wheeler’ category, Toyota Racing Series.

ENDS

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