Brendon Hartley’s race schedule will see him return to the World Series Renault 3.5 category for his debut on the streets of Monaco this weekend
The 19-year-old Kiwi will race a Red Bull Dallara chassis in a 25-lap, non-championship sprint race on Sunday morning, just before the Monaco Grand Prix.
Hartley is entered by the French Tech 1 team, running alongside Charles Pic who was the fastest qualifier and race winner in the 3.5 Renault race in the Principality last season. Tech 1 Racing is unbeaten in the last two years at Monaco; also winning in 2007 with Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente.
When Hartley won the 2.0 Renault Euro Cup in 2007, Charles Pic was third overall.
Hartley will be keen to face the challenge of the 3.3km Mediterranean street circuit after shakedown WSR races with the Tech 1 team in Spain and Belgium this season. Last year he excelled in his two Formula 3 street races at Macau and Bucharest.
Pic won on his Monaco debut last year so, as well as Hartley, there are a number of other Monaco newcomers looking to make an impression at the most prestigious European motorsport extravaganza of the year.
Included in the line-up is New Zealander Chris van der Drift and there are late Monaco entries for Australian A1GP driver John Martin and Frenchman Jules Bianchi. Hartley will again be up against old F3 rivals Jaime Alguersuari, Oliver Turvey and Max Chilton.
There is a free 45 minute practice session for Formula Renault 3.5 on Thursday from 08.30 to 9.15 (local time); qualifying on Saturday is from 09.00 to 09.55 and the 25- lap race on Sunday morning at 11.15 is the penultimate race before the F1 Monaco Grand Prix starts at 14.00. The field will be split into two groups for qualifying and there will be no mandatory pit stop during the race.
With three wins in the four WSR Series races held to date, Spaniard Marcos Martinez has made a flying start to the season and comes to Monaco as the series leader. Bertrand Baguette from Belgium returned to form on his home track at Spa-Francorchamps, finishing runner-up in both races.
The only driver to have toppled Martinez in winning race two at Spa, Englishman James Walker, is also competing in the one-off, non-championship Monaco race. The World Series Renault Dallara chassis is powered by a 3.5-litre, 24-valve, V6 engine which produces in excess of 425hp.