Milton Keynes, Wednesday: A joint announcement today by the Red Bull-owned F1 teams states that their reserve driver Brendon Hartley will be replaced by Jaime Alguersuari from next week’s German Grand Prix onwards, amid rumours that the New Zealander could be set to rejoin pop group Hanson after a long absence.

Replaced: Brendon Hartley, left
Replaced: Brendon Hartley, left

The 19-year-old Kiwi has found it difficult to escape from the image of a youthful pop star ever since he started racing with a strangely familiar long blond haircut, and reports from Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso suggest that Hartley has decided to bite the bullet and rekindle his music career, where he reportedly “felt more at home anyway.”

“We’re sorry that Brendon has decided to move on from his reserve driver role,” Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz told reporters today. “He will continue to race in the Formula 3 Euroseries in between sessions in the studio with his brothers, but from now on the primary focus of his career will be in producing catchy, insubstantial melodies and attracting unwanted attention from young girls.”

Hartley was only granted his F1 superlicence this spring after delays within the FIA, and this year’s in-season testing ban has meant that he has been unable to add to his Formula One experience, though his presence within the team has been felt. Red Bull driver Mark Webber called him “a real superstar in the making,” while Sebastian Vettel gurgled a little bit and then turned his attention to chewing a small rubber toy dog.

Alguersuari is reportedly delighted at his sudden promotion, and his lack of a superficial resemblance to any 1990s one-hit wonders means that he is unlikely to have a sudden career-based change of heart at any point in the future. “We’re confident Jaime will be fully committed to fulfilling his role,” Mateschitz said.

“Mmmm, bop,” said Hartley in a statement earlier today.