Hartley to replace Alonso for Toyota in WEC

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso will step down from WEC at the end of the season, Brendon Hartley will replace him.

Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has announced he will leave Toyota’s World Endurance Championship team at the end of the season.

Brendon Hartley, a two-time WEC winner with Porsche, will take his place for the 2019-20 season.

The New Zealander took victory in the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours alongside Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber, and will link up with the Toyota team following June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Hartley enjoys a less extensive CV in Formula 1 than Alonso, having raced for Toro Rosso while he acts as a current simulator driver for Alonso’s former team Ferrari.

Alonso, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours last year for Toyota with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, now wants to move on to new challenges.

He is quoted by RaceFans.net as saying: “I have enjoyed being part of Toyota Gazoo Racing in WEC but this chapter is ending.

“Winning Le Mans is one of the highlights of my career as part of my ‘Triple Crown’ challenge and I will always remember that victory which we achieved together as a team last year.

“Now is a good time to take on new challenges and there are many interesting opportunities to explore within Toyota Gazoo Racing.”

After racing against them, Hartley is looking forward to now competing with Toyota.

“I know how professional and motivated this team is following my years competing against them in WEC, so I am fired up and am very happy to be joining them,” he said.

“I believe I am returning to WEC an even stronger driver following my experience in Formula 1 and I look forward to getting on track and building a strong relationship with my new team.”

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