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Seidl: Hartley “Well Prepared” for F1 Debut

Porsche LMP1 team principal feels Hartley is “well prepared” for F1 debut…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl believes Brendon Hartley is “well prepared” for his Formula One debut, saying he’s matured “big time” in the four years with the German manufacturer.

The Kiwi was confirmed last week as a replacement to Pierre Gasly at Toro Rosso for the U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, in a surprise move for the former Red Bull junior driver.

“Brendon getting this chance is obviously great for him,” said Seidl. “I think it’s well-deserved.

“If you look at the development he’s [taken] with us in these four years, I think he matured quite a lot. He had sensational and consistent performances, especially in the last two years.

“It also makes us proud that we could contribute. Him getting back on the radar of Formula One is obviously great for us [as well].”

Seidl, who was responsible for Sauber’s F1 test and race operations until BMW’s exit in 2009, said Hartley’s LMP1 experience has helped prepare him for the challenges he’ll face this weekend.

While not having taken part in official F1 running since 2012, his WEC wins and 2015 World Championship contributed to the points for a FIA Super License, which is required for F1.

“With how he’s developed on our side, he’s well-prepared for Formula One,” said Seidl.

“What’s required in WEC from drivers, you learn and get experience with tire management over the stints. You get experience of management of fuel and energies.

“You’re getting used to the high complex car with a lot of interaction with engineers, during the race in the car, but also outside the car in terms of development. You do a lot of intense simulator work also.

“And being part of such a program, I think you’re used to a lot of pressure.

“First you have five teammates that can do exactly the same and have the same materials, so there’s no excuse. You [also] have strong competitors also.

“Plus if you’re part of such a program like Porsche, you’re used to all the stuff outside the car, [like] marketing, press activities.

“I think he will be well-prepared and I’m absolutely convinced he can do a very good job there.”

Seidl said he’s seen Hartley mature considerably since joining the manufacturer, initially in a testing and development role in preparation for Porsche’s return to top-level prototype competition in 2014.

“It’s difficult for me to judge how he was beforehand but when he started with us, he was obviously still young, and inexperienced in some areas, and a bit shy also,” he said.

“I think with us he had the perfect opportunity, and with us being a new project especially at the beginning with a little bit less pressure, to simply get into it and get used to the pressure.

“With teammates he always had a reference and it didn’t take long for him to be at the same level.

“You see what he’s been doing the last two years on single laps and also how he manages the races. I think he’s ready.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. David Chaste

    October 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    He got destroyed by Pipo Derani at Petit Lemans. He’s fast but connections are playing favorably into his career.

    • Max

      October 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      I’m not sure if being .014 off the pace of Pipo counts as being destroyed. Also winning the race has to be worth something to Hartley.

      • David Chaste

        October 20, 2017 at 1:04 am

        Not qualifying, race pace in changing conditions. Derani kept him in check.

        Winning is something, but usually Derani doesnt have unfortunate eventd happen at race end. A keen observer would still have noticed that despite Hartley’s pedigree (red bull f1 testing, factory p1 drive) someone like Derani who hasnt had the connections and funding to ascend to GP2 or Indylights can outgun Him.

        • AF

          October 20, 2017 at 6:01 am

          Or the fact Derani has done a full season as the car has developed, and is a Ligier ‘works’ driver so knows the base chassis well, whilst Hartley has comparatively far less track time. Not to knock Derani who is an outstanding driver, but it’s a bit of an imbalanced comparison.

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