Former F1 racer Brendon Hartley will make his FIA Formula E Championship debut for GEOX Dragon in 2019/20 season.
Having worked with Porsche towards its debut Formula E season in 2019/20, the German manufacturer went for experience in its line-up as Neel Jani was joined in by ex-DS Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer.
With Porsche now history in terms of the Formula E drive, Hartley continued to look at other options and has signed up with American outfit GEOX Dragon for his Formula E debut.
The team looks to replace both its drivers Jose Maria Lopez and Maximilian Gunther after a disastrous 2018/19 season, where it finished 10th among the 11 teams with just 23 points in its kitty.
It also looked for a mid-season change with Felipe Nasr driving in place of Gunther but with the results not coming in for the former, the latter continued on with some decent outings – not much to be retained though.
Gunther has tested for BMW Andretti in the break alongside Alexander Sims as reports suggests Antonio Felix da Costa to be leaving the Anglo-German outfit for DS Techeetah alongside Jean-Eric Vergne.
For Hartley though, it will be his third programme for the year as he will race for Toyota in the LMP1 category in 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship, where he is a teammate to Lopez.
His other work includes with Ferrari, where he works as a simulator driver for the Italian manufacturer to help the F1 team during race weekends and also off it, in terms of their development programme.
“I’m happy to be taking on a new challenge in Formula E together with GEOX DRAGON racing,” said Hartley. “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 FE 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.” Meanwhile, team owner Jay Penske, added:
“I am very pleased to have Brendon pilot one of our two entries in Season 6 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.” The second driver will be announced in due course of time.
2019/20 Formula E line-up so far:
Audi: Lucas di Grassi & Daniel Abt
DS Techeetah: Jean-Eric Vergne
Porsche: Neel Jani & Andre Lotterer
GEOX Dragon: Brendon Hartley