Brendon Hartley has completed round two of the 2018 Formula 1 season in Bahrain where an eventful race saw the Kiwi secure a career equaling best result of P13 after enjoying two stints inside the top 10.
Starting from the outside of row six, Hartley got a good start to the race maintain his position into the first corner despite plenty of action around him. However contact at the next corner with Sergio Perez would later incur a ten second pitstop penalty, leaving him with plenty of work to do later it the race.
Coming into the pits for his first pitstop from fifth, Brendon served his penalty and after a slick pitstop from the Toro Rosso crew returned to the track ready to charge his way back up the order from P18. Running to a two stop strategy, he was once again running inside the top ten when he dived into the pits for the second and final time in the race on lap 42.
Now in P14, Hartley was putting in a stunning charge, rapidly closing down those in front. Over the final laps, Brendon found himself back in battle with Perez for P12 in a showdown that would go right to finish line, Hartley losing out on P12 by a mere two hundredths of a second.
Following a post race investigation by the Stewards, Brendon was deemed to have contravened the formation lap regulations when he was passed during the green flag lap by Sergio Perez and unable to resume his correct position until they returned to the starting grid. As a result of the misunderstanding, he was handed a further 30 second penalty added to his overall race time, moving him down to a final classification of P17.
Having shown clear improvements with every lap both in qualifying and the race where he set the tenth fastest race lap, Brendon remains focused on securing his first Formula 1 points as the championship moves to yet another familiar circuit for the New Zealander – Shanghai in China.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“An amazing day for Toro Rosso but a disappointing day for me. I had a good start and first couple of corners but had a small contact with Perez in Turn 4. This not only damaged my front wing for the remainder of the race but I was also given a 10 second time penalty. We had the pace to be comfortably in the points without the penalty so it was a bit frustrating. A big thanks to all at Toro Rosso and at Honda, it has been an amazing turn around since Melbourne which bodes well for the next few races.”
Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China – Sunday 15th April 2018.