The defending champion was scything his way through lapped back-traffic in the season opener this past weekend for the FIA World Endurance Championship when he apparently miscalculated a passing maneuver while exiting the corner.
Hartley was reprimanded for the collision that took both cars out of the race but fortunately left both drivers unscathed. Worse yet was that he and his teammates were on track to win the race, and ended up watching the rest of the race from the pit lane. Instead an Audi R18 crossed the finish line first – but the race win was subsequently handed instead to another Porsche 919 during post-race scrutineering. Audi is appealing the decision, but Hartley and his co-pilots Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber will have some ground to make up if they hope to retain their crown this season.