Brendon Hartley tests for Mercedes in France

Last updated 15:20 14/09/2012

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Young New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley completed 384km in Formula One testing for Mercedes in France today.

It was the first time Hartley has been back in a Formula One car since he was dropped by the Red Bull team two years ago when he was working as a test driver and contesting Formula Renault 3.5 for them.

Hartley is one of Mercedes' F1 simulator drivers but he relished the chance to get into a car on the famous Magny Cours track.

Hartley completed a 87 laps for 384km in the young driver test programme set up over three days.

Earlier simulator work by Hartley was also disgnosed, with Mercedes eager to squeeze more out of their cars ahead of the looming Singapore Grand Prix.

Wet weather in the morning hampered times but Hartley showed he was up with the pace in better afternoon conditions with a best lap of 1min 18.671sec.

That was third-best behind Ferrari's Jules Bianchi (1min 16.985sec) and Sahara's Rodolfo Gonzalez (1min 18.018sec).

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- Fairfax Media

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