James Key feels Brendon Hartley’s arrival at Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda has given the Faenza-based outfit a different take on fuel, tyre and energy conservation, thanks to his time racing with the Porsche LMP1 Team in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Hartley competed for four seasons with Porsche in LMP1, winning the championship twice, but the New Zealander was able to develop skills in order to conserve his fuel, tyres and energy, something he has been able to bring into Formula 1, despite the hybrid technology of the Toro Rosso STR13 being different to that on the 919 Hybrid LMP1 machine.
Technical director Key says the ideas Hartley has brought to the team has benefitted everyone at Faenza and at engine suppliers Honda.
“The great thing with Brendon coming in is that he’s got a different take on things,” said Key to Motorsport.com.
“The way he had to save fuel, save tyres, use energy is a completely fresh input into this, so there’s definitely some valuable insight into what we are doing that we wouldn’t have had if we’d taken more of a standard approach with a single-seater driver.
“The technologies are different enough that there’s no technical transfer, but it’s more the process that you go through and the way that you look at it. I think it’s been good for Honda, but it’s been good for the whole team to get that fresh and unique insight.”