Having only a few testing sessions with Red Bull under his belt – because of the in-season testing ban imposed by the FIA for 2009 – Hartley admitted he didn't deserve to be in the STR4 this season.
“I knew some time ago that Alguersuari would get the Toro Rosso drive and I have to say when I first heard the news, I was obviously disappointed. But in fact I think, for me, it would be really the wrong decision to be driving in formula one right now. I didn't really expect to be the driver to replace Bourdais and I feel I don't deserve to be a formula one driver yet,” said Hartley in an interview with the NZPA news agency.
In addition, he reckoned that getting an F1 driver is not always about how good you are, but how many sponsors are willing to back you up for a full-time campaign. It's no secret that two major Spanish companies – Repsol and La Caixa – are paying for Alguersuari's drive for the remainder of the 2009 season.
“There is a lot of politics and money and sponsorship goes a long way when you are trying to get a seat there,” added Hartley.