In his absence, England rival Tom Youngs flourished for the Lions and started the first two Tests but Hartley's form for Saints saw him establish himself as first choice for the Red Rose during their autumn campaign.
He said: "I'm very driven to make the 2017 Lions tour, especially as it's in New Zealand, and to lift some silverware for Northampton. I owe the club that much.
"I'm enjoying my rugby and I'm back to doing what I do best. You've just got to get on with it, haven't you and hope that it all works out in the end."