Hartley and team mates seal WEC drivers' crown


Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley clinched the World Endurance Championship's drivers' title in Shanghai along with Porsche team mates Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber.

The trio brought its Porsche 919 Hybrid home in second place in the WEC's Chinese round behind the winning Totyota of Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson.

The Japanese manufacturer enjoyed a dominant victory in the six-hour Shanghai event but it wasn't enough to prevent its German rival from winning the World Manufacturers' Championship with one race remaining.

It's been a pressure-packed four weeks for Hartley as he dovetailed his WEC and F1 commitments. The Kiwi was recruited by Toro Rosso to replace Dany Kvyat until the end of the 2017 season, lining up for his maiden Grand Prix in Austin.

A member of Porsche's endurance squad since 2014, Hartley won the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this year.

While his recent surprise entry into F1 fulfilled a childhood dream, the 27-year-old admitted he was sad to see Porsche leave the WEC after such a fruitful period of success.

"It was really sad for all of us that [Porsche's] LMP1 was finished," he said.

"I think all of us have been just enjoying every last lap we have in this amazing car. We have developed it over the last four years. It is amazing to drive.

"It is four-wheel-drive, 1000 horse-power of hybrid technology. It really is a joy. We want to make the most of it and we want to finish on a high."

Hartley insisted he wasn't focused on the future but rather on keeping his head down and performing to the bets of his ability in F1.

"In terms of the future, I still don't have any confirmation," he said.

"It is probably a little bit out of my control. What is in my control is make sure that I continue improving and continue doing a good job.

"I am trying not to focus too far ahead and just focus on driving, which is a big task - the cars are extremely quick and extremely complicated to get the most out of them."

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