Brendon Hartley believes that following his exit from a Formula One race driver role with Toro Rosso, he bit off more than he could chew.
The two-time Le Mans winner is now firmly sat in the endurance racing camp with his full-time role at Toyota Gazoo Racing in the World Endurance Championship.
The Kiwi was even present at a private test of the new Le Mans Hypercar Toyota is planning to roll out next year, hinting at a long-time gig with the Japanese manufacturer.
However, when reflecting on his time in racing when he learnt of his F1 exit, Hartley insists he was fuelled to take on all the opportunities that came to him, ultimately leaving him overwhelmed.
“I hindsight I think I took on a little bit too much,” Hartley said on the Catching up with the Kiwis podcast.
“At the end of my time in F1 and I found myself in a situation where I wouldn’t be driving in Formula 1, I had to find new opportunities so I really took on every single thing that I could.
“I was a simulator driver for Ferrari, I was a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo and I was doing endurance racing in LMP1 with SMP Racing.
“I took on reserve driver role for Toyota and then took on racing with them at the end of the WEC season.
“Then I took on a Formula E testing programme with Porsche at the beginning of the last season, and then I was racing with another team at the end of the year.
“I had so many things on the go.”
Hartley’s short-lived Formula E career with GEOX Dragon at the start of the 2020 season was the last straw.
The team were dogged by a lack of reliability and an underperforming car which had Hartley score only two points for the team.
The Formula E paddock often overlooked the 30-year-old courtesy of his poor results which added little to his already accomplished racing CV.
But by ditching his commitments with the team midway through the series, Hartley was able to realign his focus back to endurance racing where he says he finds the most happiness.
“I stopped racing with the Formula E programme,” he said. “It did not go very well.
“I always remained optimistic that we could take on the challenge of beating the big manufacturers even if I was in one of the smallest teams on the grid.
“But it didn’t go as well as I would have liked and that has come to an end. So right now, I am only in endurance racing and solely with Toyota.
“Ultimately, endurance racing is probably the form of motorsport I enjoy the most.”
But endurance racing does not stop at WEC and Hartley says he is hopeful of ticking off a few more boxes on his racing bucket list.
“I am looking to add a few more races going forward just because I have got the time.
“Bathurst is 100 per cent something I grew up watching, so that is a race I would love to do one day. But it is not something I am actively pursuing.
“I have done a fair bit of endurance racing in the US in sportscars. I love the racing there; it is such a different style within the teams.
“I also did have a little bit of a taste of sprint cars maybe seven or eight years ago, and I loved it.
“And I would love to have a crack one day…to jump in the World of Outlaw or a midget at the Chili Bowl. I am a really big fan of dirt racing.
“I am not claiming I have got the skills to do it, but I would love to just give a few different things a go and maybe it would be more for pleasure than for the career.”