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Hartley to Prioritize WEC if Clashes Remain

Brendon Hartley to prioritize WEC program over Formula E with Dragon if clashes remain…

Photo: Toyota

Brendon Hartley will give priority to his Toyota Gazoo Racing role should any clashes remain between the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.

The New Zealander signed a deal in April with Toyota Gazoo Racing to replace Fernando Alonso and partner Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima for a full 2019-20 WEC campaign, which gets underway at the end of this month.

Last week, he also signed with GEOX Dragon to make his Formula E race debut in the upcoming season, making him one of a number of drivers, including Toyota teammate Buemi, to face clashes between the two championships.

If clashes remain between the two series, he could face being forced to stand down from a Formula E event to focus on his LMP1 program with Toyota.

The definitive Formula E schedule is yet to be confirmed and it’s believed that one of the two clashes, the likely Sanya race in March, is already set to move forward a week to alleviate a clash with the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

The other TBC in December, which clashes with the 8 Hours of Bahrain, could be scrapped altogether.

A spokesperson for Toyota Gazoo Racing told e-racing365: “In the event of a clash between WEC and Formula E races, Brendon will give priority to his WEC commitments.”

A clarification on a reprofiled 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship calendar is expected in the coming weeks.

No Assumptions on Porsche Seat

Hartley has admitted that it was never assumed he would be in the running for a race seat at Porsche next season, despite conducting testing for the team earlier in the year.

When the original Formula E calendar was announced in June to include three prospective clashes with the long-announced WEC schedule, Hartley said he could not be considered to partner Neel Jani.

It is believed that Porsche’s primary target was always Andre Lotterer due to his two seasons of experience and multiple podium performances with DS Techeetah.

“It was never sure if I would get the opportunity for a [race] seat [with Porsche] and then when the calendar was announced with three clashes it became complicated and basically out of the question anyway,” Hartley told e-racing365.

“I was pretty annoyed and disappointed about the clashes as I am sure a few drivers were because it made it difficult to even consider Formula E at that point,” he said.

“I believe that the clashes might be coming down now and GEOX Dragon contacted me, so we had some discussions with them and did a deal.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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