Brendon Hartley's WEC experience helping Toro Rosso
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Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley's experience and World Endurance Championship background is providing some fresh ideas for his Toro Rosso Formula 1 outfit.
The 28-year-old, who won the Le Mans 24 Hour race and two WEC titles during his career with Porsche, is preparing for this weekend's round in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Results have been mixed for the Red Bull-backed Toro Rosso team this season with a strong showing in Bahrain, where Hartley's teammate Pierre Gasly finished fourth, mixed in between some disappointing performances.
Toro Rosso is in the first year of a new arrangement with engine-supplied Honda. As they search for a competitive advantage in a tight mid-field battle Hartley's unique background could be a point of difference.
"The great thing with Brendon coming in is that he's got a different take on things," Toro Rosso technical director James Key told Motorsport.com.
"The way he had to save fuel, save tyres, use energy is a completely fresh input into this, so there's definitely some valuable insight into what we are doing that we wouldn't have had if we'd taken more of a standard approach with a single-seater driver.
"The technologies are different enough that there's no technical transfer, but it's more the process that you go through and the way that you look at it.
"I think it's been good for Honda, but it's been good for the whole team to get that fresh and unique insight."
Hartley is hoping that there will be some advantage for him when it comes to having to save fuel in certain races of situations.
"I think where it can be an advantage is I'm quite used to having to be very efficient because we were so restricted on fuel there," Hartley said.
"So if we get to a race where we are very restricted on fuel, I feel like it's a good strength. Obviously, working on such a project is all valuable; all experience is good experience."
Hartley is in action on Saturday with free practice before qualifying on Sunday and the race on Monday morning.