Ferrari give Brendon Hartley Formula One lifeline for 2019 season with new role

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley has been given a lifeline in the Formula One scene by motorsport giant Ferrari.

Source: 1 NEWS

Hartley was axed as a full-time driver for Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso last year after a difficult season in which he finished 19th out of 20 drivers in the championship.

Now, the 29-year-old will join Pascal Wehrlein, Antonio Fuoco and Davide Rigon in working in the Ferrari simulator in support of F1 racers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

"Our team has taken on four undoubtedly talented drivers, who possess innate feeling, with a strong understanding of race cars and tracks," team principal Mattia Binotto said in a statement.

"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 One of today."

Hartley had remained quiet about his future endevours after being cut from Toro Rosso but said the phone was ringing and he had been making calls too.

Last year, Russian Daniil Kvyat and Italian Antonio Giovinazzi both worked as simulator drivers for Ferrari but this year have taken a step forward and are now racing for Toro Rosso and Sauber, respectively.

The new Formula 1 season starts in Australia on March 17.