Ferrari have announced four simulator drivers for 2019; they will include Pascal Wehrlein & Brendon Hartley.
Former Toro Rosso racing driver Brendon Hartley has been announced as one of Ferrari’s simulator drivers for 2019. Having been ditched by Red Bull just after the season finale in Abu Dhabi, the popular Kiwi driver had been left scrabbling to find alternative work for this year but rumours linking him to a Ferrari role began almost immediately.
Ferrari announced him as one of four drivers they have picked up to work in their simulator throughout the season; this role is crucial for helping with behind the scenes development of the car and was a role carried out prominently by Antonio Giovinazzi & Daniil Kvyat throughout 2018.
Alongside Hartley will be former Mercedes reserve and affiliated driver Pascal Wehrlein. Having cut his ties with the German marque at the end of last season, Wehrlein has since joined Formula E and is racing with Mahindra where he finished P2 in the most recent round in San Diego.
Antonio Fuoco stays with the Ferrari camp for another year – the Italian driver has been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy for five years now and is coming off the back of a year’s racing in Formula 2.
Another long-term Ferrari veteran is Davide Rigon, who is kept on for another year since joining the Scuderia in 2014 – he also drives for AF Corse Ferrari in the World Endurance Championship.
New team boss Mattia Binotto says the four drivers signed up will be critical components behind the scenes of what could be a very tough championship campaign: “Our team has taken on four undoubtedly talented drivers, who possess innate feeling, with a strong understanding of race cars and tracks. These are exactly the qualities required in the skilful role of driving in a simulator, one of the vital pieces of equipment in the Formula 1 of today”.