Brendon Hartley will replace Jenson Button for the next two rounds of the current World Endurance Championship at SMP Racing.

After being confirmed as a Ferrari Formula 1 simulator driver for 2019, Hartley will also race at the Sebring and Spa-Francorchamps WEC rounds alongside Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin in the #11 BR1 car to replace Button. The 2009 F1 world champion will return to SMP Racing for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

“I’m very pleased to join SMP Racing for the next two WEC races at Sebring and Spa,” Hartley said. “The team have all the tools and a great driver roster so I think we have a big opportunity to fight for podiums. It marks my return to the WEC and I’m really looking forward to being back in the paddock amongst many familiar faces.”

It marks the second recently-axed F1 driver to join the SMP Racing ranks following Sergey Sirotkin’s switch which was confirmed earlier this week. Sirotkin forms the driver line-up in the #17 car alongside Egor Orudzhev and Stephane Sarrazin for the remainder of the 2018-19 WEC campaign.

“I want to welcome Brendon Hartley, who joined our SMP Racing team,” Sirotkin said. “I have known Brendon for quite a long time, we get along well and he is an excellent driver who will certainly benefit our team.”

Hartley is a two-time WEC champion in LMP1 class (2015 and 2017) with Porsche while he has also won the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The New Zealand driver was dropped by Toro Rosso at the end of the 2018 F1 world championship.