Reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Brendon Hartley is in contention for a seat in the FIA Formula E Championship after recently testing for the Venturi team, e-racing365 can reveal.
The Porsche LMP1 factory driver took part in a group test session with three other drivers in the South of France last month, as the Monegasque squad continues its search for a teammate to join Maro Engel in the team for the 2017/18 season.
Hartley is reported to have acclimatized well to the intricacies of the Formula E car during the test, with one team member telling e-racing365 that the Kiwi “took time to ‘get’ the car, but this is normal for those new to these Formula E cars.”
Although the same source would not comment on reports that Hartley suffered an accident during the test, e-racing365 believes he did have some sort of excursion during his run.
The Kiwi could be in line to join Porsche stablemate Neel Jani in Formula E next season and is understood to be considering a drive with Venturi. Hartley, a Monaco resident, could take part in another test later this month.
While having been linked to a switch to the Verizon IndyCar Series, Hartley has admitted his interest in the electric open-wheel championship as well, particularly if it comes with Porsche’s blessing.
“Formula E is something I’m looking at as well,” he told e-racing365 earlier this month. “Nothing’s signed off but I hope in the next few weeks I’ll have a clearer idea of where I’m heading.
“I want to keep my relationship with Porsche. It’s been such a big part of my career. They gave me a huge opportunity I’ve had to showcase myself on one of the highest levels in motorsport in the world. I’m not looking to leave, that’s clear.”
The 27-year-old has not driven a single-seater competitively since 2012 when he raced in GP2 and also made sporadic appearances for Mercedes as an F1 tester.
Prior to that, Hartley won races in the British and European F3 series and was also a frontrunner in GP2.
John Dagys contributed to this report