Two-time World Endurance Champion and former Formula 1 racer Brendan Hartley will compete in the FIA Formula E Championship for the 2019-20 season with GEOX Dragon Racing.
Following his departure from Scuderia Toro Rosso at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season, Hartley had been working as a development driver for Porsche ahead of its entry into Formula E. With last month’s confirmation that André Lotterer will join Neel Jani as the German manufacturer’s race driver lineup, the Kiwi racer has looked further afield for a race drive and found a home at Dragon Racing – the first driver confirmed at Jay Penske’s team for the sixth season of the all-electric championship.
Speaking at the announcement of his drive, Hartley shared his excitement to not only the Dragon Racing team, but also the Formula E series: “I’m happy to be taking on a new challenge in Formula E together with Geox Dragon Racing. Formula E is totally different from any other race series I’ve been in, but I am hoping my experience in many categories with energy management will pay dividends and give me a head start as a rookie.
“I’ve always been a fan of street tracks and Formula E has some of the wildest I’ve seen. That together with some of the best drivers and manufacturers in the world makes it an exciting place to be. I’ve already started working with most of the Geox Dragon team, and I have a strong feeling that we can share some good success together in the coming season.”
Formula E season five was not successful for GEOX Dragon, finishing tenth of eleven teams in the standings with just 23 points. Neither of the team’s drivers achieved a podium race result; Maximilian Günther and José Maria López finished 17th and 21st respectively in the Drivers’ Championship.
With Porsche joining the series as a twelfth team in Season 6, along with the might of Mercedes taking over HWA Racelab’s entry as a factory effort, the level of competition in Formula E will increase to a new level next season. As the only team developing a Formula E powertrain without alignment to a mainstream manufacturer, GEOX Dragon will need to make a big step forward to become competitive.
The need for improvement is a fact which Penske recognised in welcoming Hartley to his team: “I am very pleased to have Brendon pilot one of our two entries in Season Six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Brendon is a real racer. He has a unique combination of experience, intellect, and racecraft that will allow him to maximize the potential of the new Penske EV-4 powertrain. Most importantly, he shares our hunger, and our determination to take the fight to the incredible field of major manufacturers this season.”
Hartley is set to make his Formula E race debut in the opening round of the 2019-20 season, the double-header Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia on November 22 & 23.
|2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
|DS Techeetah||Jean-Éric Vergne||TBA|
|Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
||Lucas di Grassi||Daniel Abt|
|Envision Virgin Racing||Sam Bird||Robin Frijns|
|BMW i Andretti Motorsport
|Panasonic Jaguar Racing
|Venturi Formula E Team
||Felipe Massa||Edoardo Mortara|
|Mercedes EQ Formula E Team
|GEOX Dragon Racing||Brendon Hartley||TBA|
|NIO Formula E Team
|Porsche Formula E Team||André Lotterer||Neel Jani|
Images via ThePitecrewOnline