Three characters, one title: By finishing fifth at the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the three
It is a varied trio: of them Timo is the most successful in endurance racing. A member of the
What the World Champions say:
Timo Bernhard: “Winning the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship today is an exceptional moment for me and truly the icing on the cake. It was great seeing the team winning in Le Mans and clinching the one-two with our second place. The Manufacturers’ Championship for
Brendon Hartley: “I am very, very proud. My earliest memories are watching my father at the racetrack. I was six years old when I started racing go-karts and always dreamt of being a World Champion. I am extremely proud of sharing this moment with Mark, Timo and the entire
Mark Webber: “It’s the first World Championship for me – this feels beautiful. That’s not an easy thing to achieve, so to have won this title is very special. But to win it wearing a
The World Champions at a glance:
... has won every major sports car endurance competition: Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, he has even won the 24-hour race in the Nürburgring outright no less than five times. Before becoming a World Champion, he had gained major international recognition after overall victory in Le Mans in 2010, which he won with Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller for Audi. Back then he was out on loan from
Timo is the most senior
Timo experienced the tough beginning of the LMP1 programme, and drove the first 919 Hybrid on 12th June 2013 at the roll out. “An honour,” he said, and explained: “This was not just a new Le Mans racing car, it was a
… started with go-karts at the age of six, inspired by his father Bryan and his older brother Nelson, named after Nelson Piquet. Back home in New Zealand – Brendon Hartley grew up in Palmerston North on the North Island – he launched into formula racing. After a series of wins in Formula Ford and further successes, it was soon evident he had the talent to make a career out of it, but lived at the wrong side of the world. At the age of 16 he jumped in at the deep end – moved to Europe. He took up residence in the east of Germany and raced in a Formula Renault 2.0 in the German and European Championships. In 2007 he won the World Series by Renault. That was a defining time for him in a foreign country. He joined the Red Bull talent pool and worked hard.
Then he had a coup de main in 2008 at the Formula 3 Grand Prix in Macau: started 20th on the grid, finished third, including fastest lap. He was still taken by complete surprise when the phone call came from Red Bull, asking if he could stand in for the injured Mark Webber at a Formula One test. “Wow, this was what I had been working for all my life. I phoned home straight away and let it ring until I had woken my whole family.” He did well and moved from Germany to Milton Keynes in the UK, and it at least gave him the chance to live somewhere where they spoke his language.
He had a Formula One contract up to and including 2013 – first as a test driver for Red Bull Racing, and then for the Mercedes Team. His simulator work was highly regarded, but a racing driver has to race. In 2012 he started his second career in endurance racing: European Le Mans Series, Grand Am, 12 hours in Bathurst, 24 hours in Daytona and Le Mans. “My goal and hope was that one day I would attract the attention of a manufacturer. The fact that it was
… has had a roof over his head for two years now, but its been a car he has had to share with two others. After 215 Formula One Grands Prix, and winning nine of them, he left the F1 paddock at the end of 2013. Sharing the
Mark left his home in Queanbeyan in New South Wales, Australia, at the age of 19. In England he was one of many of those without a sponsor. He won the prestigious Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, drove Formula 3 and Formula 3000. He was invited to join the sports car programme at Mercedes. In Le Mans the car became airborne. Mark survived two dramatic crashes unharmed, but his career seemed to have run out of steam. The page turned, however, with a successful Formula One test for the Benetton team, which secured him a test and reserve driver position with the team in 2001. In 2002 he started his first Grand Prix and finished fifth in Melbourne – with an uncompetitive Minardi.
In 2005 he scored his first podium with the former BMW WilliamsF1 team. He had his first F1 win at the 2009 German Grand Prix with Red Bull Racing in his 131st race. In 2010 and 2012 he won the Monaco Grand Prix.
In 2014 he returned to Le Mans, was leading the race for some time, but retired with engine failure with two hours to go. In 2015 the car he was sharing with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley was leading for an even longer period, but dropped back after a penalty and came second behind the winning sister