Toro Rosso tech boss James Key says the Faenza-based squad is profiting from Brendon Hartley’s unique LMP1 knowledge which the Kiwi collected over the years with Porsche.
The German manufacturer’s hybrid technology, which was at the forefront of its success in the World Endurance Championship, only shares a few common points with Honda’s own engineering in F1 but Hartley has still been able to offer his specific and productive insight in terms of the processes he learned about while racing with Porsche.
“The great thing with Brendon coming in is that he’s got a different take on things,” Key told Autosport.
“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.
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“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.”
Indeed, Hartley sees his contribution mainly on the engine energy efficiency front given the particular stringent restrictions he was forced to compose with at Porsche.
“I think where it can be an advantage is I’m quite used to having to be very efficient because we were so restricted on fuel there,” said the 2017 Le Mans winner.
“So if we get to a race where we are very restricted on fuel, I feel like it’s a good strength. Obviously, working on such a project is all valuable; all experience is good experience.”
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