“Motorsport will prevail.” Three words that every motor racing fan across the globe will be delighted to hear, and it is exactly what New Zealand sports car ace Brendon Hartley is sure of once the Covid-19 crisis begins to abate and some sense of normality returns.
Based out of Monaco, Hartley has returned home to New Zealand across the last five weeks while both his Formula E and World Endurance Championships drives are put on hold.
The current state of world sport has put extensive levels of stress on sporting organisations globally, with many preparing for the worse once the full economic aftershocks of the crisis begin to strike.
Earlier in the month, Formula E Chairman Alejandro Agag warned the motorsport community that many smaller series will no survive this pandemic unless there are significant changes to the industry.
However, Hartley is adamant that any worse case scenario will not come to fruition and racing will ultimately “bounce back”. But he did add that when exactly the sport will rejuvenate will not become clearer until a much later time.
Speaking with NewsTalkZB, Hartley admitted that, to date, his current status concerning his 2020 commitments remain shrouded in uncertainty as series organisers continue to revise and reshuffle races for later in the year.
“I have no idea when racing is going to go,” said Hartley. “I think there is a lot of uncertainty.”
“We have some loose dates in the calendar for both Formula E and the World Endurance Championship.
“I saw online the other day that there is a date floated even as late as November the Le Mans 24 Hour which is normally held in June.
“[But] I am in constant contact with the team back at Toyota and everyone is moving ahead, but no one has an exact date and I think that is going to be the same all around the world and in all forms of motorsport at the moment.”
Hartley was then asked whether he was concerned about the fate of smaller, less financially stable racing teams which are becoming more and more desperate to return to the track and begin returning a profit.
While he refused to comment exactly his thoughts on the economic crisis some teams are facing right now, he did add his reassurance that the motorsport industry will eventually come through.
“For sure it is not good for any sporting organisations being put on hold, and I think that is no different for motorsport,
“But that being said I am pretty convinced that it will come through and prevail, and there may be a little bit of side-steep and it might look different on the other side, but I am sure it will be there.”
And when finally questioned about his own personal career and whether he will be behind the wheel of a racing car as a professional racing driver once the coronavirus situation subsides, the 30-year-old only had one comment to offer:
Hartley is expected to return to the track for the next round of the 2019/20 WEC season which is scheduled as the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on August 15.
Though current Belgian government restrictions concerning mass gatherings has put the running of event under doubt.