Brendon Hartley has been in the press lately about his departure from Toro Rosso. He’s not happy about it but he isn’t being too mean=spirited in his comments, just disappointed.
He was unclear on what he would do next but it didn’t take long to find another role in F1. Today Ferrari announced they signed four drivers including Hartley a well as Pascal Wehrlein as their simulation drivers.
An interesting move. The team need Sim drivers for sure and picking up Brendon as well as Pascal is an interesting move that could give them some insight to Honda and Mercedes drivability and systems.
Official Press Release:
Four drivers will work in the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow simulator during the 2019 season, thus contributing, alongside the race drivers, to the development of the car. They are 24 year old Pascal Wehrlein, Brendon Hartley 29, Antonio Fuoco, 22, and Davide Rigon, 32.
Currently driving in Formula E for the Mahindra team, Pascal Wehrlein competed in Formula 1 in the 2016 and 2017 seasons having been crowned DTM champion in 2015.
Brendon Hartley comes to Maranello after racing for Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula 1 from the 2017 US GP until the end of the 2018 season. Brendon also has a solid background in endurance racing: he has been FIA WEC World Champion twice (2015 and 2017) and also won the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Antonio Fuoco has been part of the Ferrari family for his entire career through his time in the Ferrari Driver Academy and joins the simulator team after an excellent season in F2 that included a superb win in Abu Dhabi.
Davide Rigon is a Ferrari simulator veteran. He has been driving the simulator since 2014 in addition to his work as an official driver in GT competitions. Amongst other categories, he has been racing for AF Corse Ferrari in the FIA WEC for many years and has won four world championship races with the team.
Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal: “Our team has taken on four undoubtedly talented drivers, who possess innate feeling, with a strong understanding of race cars and tracks. These are exactly the qualities required in the skilful role of driving in a simulator, one of the vital pieces of equipment in the Formula 1 of today”.