Brendon Hartley appears to let slip the news of his new contract for 2021 with Toyota Gazoo Racing
During the livestream recap of the 24 Hours of Le Mans—The 25th Hour with John Hindhaugh and Nick Daman, presented by Hagerty—Brendon Hartley was interviewed fresh from the race in his apartment in Monaco. Not only did Hartley relive his experiences during the race, he also revealed—accidentally, it would appear—some news about his future racing for the Toyota Gazoo team.
The interview started off with Hartley discussing what it was like to race in the month of September and with no crowds “It was strange,” began Hartley. “I don’t want to sugar coat it. I knew going there it would be different. When it really clicked for me was on Wednesday, watching driver-change practice from pit lane. Normally there would have been a sea of people. It got me thinking and you realize how important the fans are. We definitely missed the fans.”
Later in the livestream, Hindhaugh asked Hartley about the race being the “swan song for the TS050.” Hartley answered, “The cars are amazing and I’m really sad. The [hybrid] technology has evolved so much over the years. On the flip side, we’re going into a new era, the hypercar era, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Peugeot is coming back and I think the other exciting thing about [the new car] is that it’s going to be more road-car relevant. It’s going to be a car that the end user can more or less drive on the road.”
Hindhaugh then straight-up asked Hartley “Does the car exist yet, and if so, have you driven it?” Hartley answered, “No, I haven’t driven it. I saw the wind-tunnel model when I was at the factory two weeks ago…I’m not sure I was meant to say that…oh no, I sat in it! We are testing it in the coming months. Yeah, it exists.”
Next Hindhaugh asked Hartley if he was going to be involved in 2021, as he had heard contracts were going out, to which Hartley answered, “I can confirm that I am there next year. I will be there for the first season of hypercar. I’m really stoked.” Hindhaugh responded, “That’s great news. I’m not sure anybody else has heard that, so we’ve got a bit of an exclusive there for Hagerty Radio Le Mans.”
Hindhaugh then goes on to talk with Zak Brown from United Autosports and Hartley can be seen picking up his phone, reading what appears to be a longish text message, and then smiling to himself. Was he busted for letting slip the news about his new contract? It’s difficult to tell with absolute certainty. You’ll have to watch for yourself here and tell us what you think in the comments below.