Hartley: Penalty didn't cost us Le Mans win

A one-minute stop-and-go penalty did not cost the No.17 Porsche victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, reckons the perpetrator of the offence Brendon Hartley.

The penalty took the car shared with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard out of contention in the lead fight last Saturday evening.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Hartley said: "The penalty was just a misunderstanding and I thought there was a green (flag) and there wasn't. I accelerated quite quickly and passed a GT car in the slow zone.

"Obviously it is quite a new procedure for all of us but I made a mistake and we got the penalty which is just a part of racing.

"But it wasn't really what cost us the race because the No.19 was just quicker and we just didn't have the pace they had from the nigh time onwards but we actually drove a very good race, all three of us, and we are holding our heads high with second place.

"Above all it was also a great day for the Kiwis."

Hartley had made illegal move during the slow zone period for the retrieval of the LMP2 class Greaves Motorsport Gibson during the sixth hour. He was also sanctioned for not respecting the speed limit under the slow zone.

The penalty was made official while Webber was at the wheel and it was the Australian who completed the one-minute stop-and-go.

A further suspended penalty was handed out to Hartley should he commit the same infringement.

The confirmation of the one-minute stop and go was not formalised until 80 minutes after the offence occurred as the stewards viewed video and telemetry of the incident which occurred in Slow Zone 32.

Hartley also expressed his appreciation for the level and pace of development made on the 2015-spec Porsche 919 Hybrid.

"I don't think it's a secret that we had small problems that stopped us during our endurance tests," he continued.

"So, to come here and run clean and get a 1-2 is just awesome and a massive thanks goes to everyone in the team here and all the boys and girls back at Weissach. We worked so hard to get here and the satisfaction is absolutely immense."

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Track Circuit de la Sarthe
Drivers Brendon Hartley
Article type Breaking news