GP2 »

Late driver change for Ocean Racing

Ocean Racing Technology have brought in Brendon Hartley to replace Jon Lancaster at very short notice ahead of the Bahrain weekend's events starting on Friday morning.
Brendon Hartley is to replace British driver Jon Lancaster in the #24 Ocean Racing Technology car alongside Nigel Melkur, it emerged late on Thursday evening.

"Racing GP2 in Bahrain with Ocean Racing Technology!", tweeted the 22-year-old Kiwi driver. "Very very last minute, am still a little surprised to be here. Let's go racing!"

Hartley competed for Ocean Racing in the last two rounds of the 2011 GP2 Series as a replacement for Kevin Mirocha, having made his début in the series in the last two rounds the previous year with Scuderia Coloni filling in for the injured Vladimir Arabadzhiev. He had also been an official reserve driver for both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso as a former longtime member of the Red Bull Junior Team.

The late change is rather unusual, with Ocean Racing's pre-race weekend press release issued on Wednesday referring to Jon Lancaster's involvement in this weekend's Bahrain feature and sprint races.

"We did some good tests in the simulator and I am sure that they will be essential going into the race weekend," the press release quoted Lancaster as saying. "I think that we will be more competitive here than in Malaysia."

But later that same day, Brendon Hartley tweeted that there as a "Chance I may be racing this weekend!" and then adding: "On my way to London Heathrow airport ... Any guesses on where I'm heading?" before subsequently revealing that he had landed in Bahrain and was on his way for an urgent seat fitting.

There was no update from Lancaster's Twitter stream or official website regarding the reason for the late change, or any official word from Ocean Racing Technology's own media channels regarding the change. It's not clear whether the change is just for this weekend or for both Bahrain race weekends - or is a potential longer-term arrangement.

Lancaster had made his GP2 début the previous month in the season opener at Sepang in Malaysia as a relatively short-notice signing to the Portuguese team. However, he retired very early in the feature race with technical issues after qualifying in 21st, and only managed to fight back to 17th place in the following day's sprint event.

However, it's not know whether the change of drivers this week is related to the performance in Malaysia, or to driver illness, issues relating to sponsorship backing, the current unease about the political situation in Bahrain - or another as-yet unidentified cause.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jon Lancaster (GBR, Ocean Racing Technology) in action during day 1 of 2012 GP2 Series Testing. Barcelona, Spain. Tuesday 6th March 2012. [World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Series Media Service.]
Nigel Melker (NED, Ocean Racing Technology) during day 1 of GP2 Series Pre-Season Testing at Jerez, Spain - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Jon Lancaster (GBR, Ocean Racing Technology) in the Ocean car on day 2 of 2012 GP2 Series Testing. Barcelona, Spain. Wednesday 7th March 2012. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.]
New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley. [Photo Credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates in parc ferme after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates with champagne on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Photo: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International), Dean Stoneman (GBR, Koiranen GP) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) & Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) on the feature race podium at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.