Brendon Hartley should close out the World Endurance Championship with the factory Porsche team in Shanghai overnight to cap an incredible year for the Kiwi racer.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old has barely had time to catch his breath since his last outing with the LMP1 outfit having endured a whirlwind few weeks making his Formula 1 debut in Austin and following it up with another impressive showing in Mexico.

The past three weeks have been a blur of plane rides, hotel rooms, media interviews and a taking on barrage of new information to help adjust to life on the sport's biggest stage.

"I think in some ways it won't be until I get home at the end of the year that it will fully sink in," Hartley told Herald on Sunday. "I haven't really had time to stop and think about it so far.


"The fact I have just made my Formula 1 debut, on the cusp of a world championship, Le Mans 24 Hour with Earl [Bamber] - there are so many parts of this year that have just been incredible but there are still four races to go.

"After that I will be able to sit back and realise what has just happened."

Hartley will definitely see out the remaining two rounds this year with the Toro Rosso in Formula 1 and has been tipped for the fulltime seat next season but he remains contracted to Porsche at the same time.

Porsche will withdraw from the WEC at the end of this season but are rumoured to be interested in a move into Formula 1 in the future. Hartley gaining experience over the next 18 months in the sport's premier category could be a good thing for Porsche longer term.

Hartley wouldn't confirm whether that were the case but he admitted to hoping to be contracted to both Toro Rosso and Porsche in 2018.

"I would love that but at the moment I don't really know a hundred percent how it is all going to work," he said. "There is still a bit to figure out.

"I have the opportunity to stay with Porsche," he added.

"Basically with all the drivers at Porsche we had the opportunity to stay on and potentially mix up the program. That is something I am unsure of at the moment - how that would work.

"I obviously have a great relationship with them and would like to keep that going. They are the ones that gave me the huge break four years ago to enter LMP1.

"I think it was the best possible preparation I could have had to get to Formula 1."
If things go to plan overnight he will at least finish his time in WEC on a high.

"It isn't done yet," he said. "We are pretty close but anyone that has followed endurance racing for the past couple of years will know that anything can happen. There are so many variables and they are tough races so we are not getting ahead of ourselves."