Hartley insists he took "normal" line in backmarker crash
Porsche driver Brendon Hartley said his attempt to lap the GTE-Am entry that led to his massive crash out of the lead of the 6 Hours of Silverstone was "normal" for the corner in question.
Having taken over from Mark Webber in the #1 919 Hybrid, Hartley held a comfortable lead of more than 40 seconds when he collided with the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR, driven by Michael Wainwright.
As Wainwright ran wide on exit of Turn 2, Hartley attempted the clear the GTE-Am entrant on the outside, but ended up running out of track and moving over on the Briton.
The resulting contact sent both cars careening into the gravel, with Hartley's Porsche 919 Hybrid nearly flipping over in the process.
"I feel very upset for the team," said Hartley after the Porsche #1 entry was forced to retire on the spot.
"The car was incredibly good and Mark did a mega first stint. When I took over, everything was good. I had a comfortable lead, didn’t feel under pressure and did a good job in traffic, too.
"Then I wanted to get past a GT car on the outside, which is quite normal through that corner, but the driver didn’t see me and used all the road.
"I don’t want to blame anyone. It was a shocking moment and it is a true shame."
Wainwright "a passenger"
Wainwright, whose race was likewise over on the spot, had a different view of the incident.
"I was a passenger, I didn't even know he was there until he was too late," he said.
"I think he was trying to pass me, and wanted to come across to take the racing line for the next corner."
Wainwright's teammate Adam Carroll, of GP2 and A1GP fame, added: "Unfortunately there just wasn't enough room left by the faster car.
"The TV showed that very, very clearly. As the quicker cars come up, against us there's not much we can do. That was just a very unfortunate accident and one that definitely could have been avoided.
"Definitely not our fault."
Porsche needs to “have everything together” to beat Audi
Silverstone WEC: Audi beats Porsche to win thrilling season opener