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2019 F1

Hartley is reserve driver for two F1 teams

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Brendon Hartley is now the reserve driver for not one but two Formula 1 teams.

Ousted by Toro Rosso at the end of last year, the New Zealander has been signed up to replace Fernando Alonso in Toyota’s Le Mans programme.

“My future with Toyota is amazing. That was landing on my feet,” he told Speedcafe.

But until then, the former Le Mans winner is a simulator driver for Ferrari, and present at all the grands prix.

According to Blick newspaper, if Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc cannot race, it will be 29-year-old Hartley at the wheel of their red car.

And veteran correspondent Roger Benoit claims that Hartley recently travelled to Hinwil for a seat fitting. It means he is the reserve driver for Ferrari and the similarly-powered Alfa Romeo.

Hartley said he is happy with his Ferrari simulator role.

“There is no simulation, as of yet, where the driver is not important,” he told Speedcafe. “It’s the emotional input. AI cannot quite replicate it. So I still have a job.”

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