Brendon got his first taste of F1 in 2008, where he drove at a Red Bull roadshow event in Saudi Arabia. He was then invited on a 3 day shakedown test for the Reb Bull sister team Toro Rosso.
In November 2008, Brendon was named to cover the testing duties of Mark Webber, who broke his leg in a cycling accident in Tazmania.
He was announced Red Bull, and Torro Rosso reserve driver for the 2009 season, but delays to the issue of his FIA Superlicense saw David Coulthard occupy that role for the first few Grands Prix. His Superlicense was issued in April 2009.
He was replaced by Jaime Alguersuari 1st July 2009 and the team said,
"With the ban on in-season testing, Red Bull views the appointment of a third driver as part of its Young Driver training programme, allowing a driver to follow all activities of the F1 teams over a race weekend, attending technical briefings and listening in on the pit to car radio conversations."
"Having benefited from this experience over the first half of the year, Hartley will now concentrate on his own racing programme in the European F3 series."