Brendon Hartley’s busy end of 2017 continued as he resumed his primary duties in the FIA World Endurance Championship last weekend, and by finishing second in the 6 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday, he clinched his second LMP1 Championship alongside team-mates Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard.
Despite not having the pace to match Toyota Gazoo Racing in China, the #2 Porsche LMP Team trio went into the penultimate race of the season knowing a third place finish would be enough to take the title, but they went one better, thanks to the misfortune of the #7 Toyota.
Hartley, who since the last race in Fuji has made his Formula 1 debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso, says winning the title for the second time in three years will take a while to sink in, particularly as his year included winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.
“I was second in the car and stayed there for 76 laps,” said Hartley. “We lost a lot of downforce in the beginning, so the first stint was hard work. At the stop, we changed the nose, which improved this issue.
“But we had one set of tyres less than all the other cars after we lost one in qualifying. So this was a kind of game over for us.
“But we definitely have had an incredibly year. Taking the World Championship title after winning Le Mans – it might take a while until it all sinks in.
“I had a few busy weeks but sharing this moment with Earl and Timo I will not forget for the rest of my life.”