New GEOX Dragon signing Brendon Hartley says that Porsche supported his move to becoming an ABB FIA Formula E Championship driver.
In his first interview since being announced as a GEOX Dragon driver, the Kiwi told e-racing365 that he is “appreciative” of Porsche allowing him to form a Formula E program after he was approached by Jay Penske last month.
Hartley is still under contract with Porsche until the end of 2019 but will cease his work with the Formula E team as he concentrates on testing the new 2019-20 Penske EV-4 car.
“Porsche have been incredible regarding everything over the last few years and they were supportive and understood that if I got a chance of a race drive in Formula E that I should take it,” said Hartley.
“I am still under contract [with Porsche] but obviously I will be taking a step away from the Formula E [program] as there is a fair conflict now I am committed with Dragon.
“Porsche have been incredibly fair through the whole process since I took on the Formula 1 drive last season, so I am really appreciative.
“It will be a little bit strange competing against them next season after so many years racing for them.”
Hartley believes that he is in a good position to hit the ground running as he embarks on his Formula E rookie season.
The New Zealander has significant experience of battery systems and some EV engineering through his recent roles in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Porsche between 2014-17 and F1 with Toro Rosso last year.
“I’ll be a rookie, but I’ve worked with plenty of complex systems and complicated race cars for the past few years so I have experience of the energy management era,” he said.
“The style of racing in Formula E is very different yes. But I’ve always thrived and enjoyed the challenge of racing on the streets and having no room for error and enjoy that.”