Hartley returns to the WEC with SMP Racing

© XPB 

Brendon Hartley will replace Jenson Button at SMP Racing in the next two rounds of the World Endurance Championship.

The former Toro Rosso driver's 2019 programme is slowly growing, with a simulator role at Ferrari followed by a temporary return to the WEC at Sebring in March and at Spa in early May.

Hartley will race at Russia's SMP Racing alongside Button's regular team mates, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin.

"I’m very pleased to join SMP Racing for the next two WEC races at Sebring and Spa," said the 29-year-old former Porsche LMP1 driver and 2017 Le Mans winner.

"The team have all the tools and a great driver roster so I think we have a big opportunity to fight for podiums.

"It marks my return to the WEC and I’m really looking forward to being back in the paddock amongst many familiar faces."

Hartley will have a familiar face sitting on the other side of the SMP Racing garage, with former Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin sharing the team's #17 car with Stéphane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev.

"I want to welcome Brendon Hartley, who joined our SMP Racing team," Sirotkin said.

"I have known Brendon for quite a long time, we get along well and he is an excellent driver who will certainly benefit our team."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter