New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley looked on course to secure an impressive top 10 finish from the Monaco Grand Prix before a rear end collision from the Sauber of Charles Leclerc sent him into immediate retirement with just eight laps remaining.
Having missed out on a place in Q2 by just 0.1 seconds in the frantic first part of qualifying on Saturday, Hartley was set to start from P15 but ready to try and use his street track skills and well proven pace of the STR13 around the famous Monaco circuit to pull off a strong result. However his task was made all the more difficult during the opening lap, when contact with Leclerc damaged his front wing, effecting his STR13’s front downforce.
Making the most of the situation, Brendon continued to preserve his Ultrasoft Pirelli’s before he utilised an early pitstop to jump up the order. Using the strategy call to good effect, approaching the closing stages of the race, the Monaco resident was hunting down the Renault of Carlos Sainz and looking on course to challenge for P10 before disaster struck and a mechanical failure on the Sauber resulted in him colliding with Hartley and sending the pair into immediate retirement.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“It was a tough race starting from 15th. I had a pretty good start, but I damaged my front wing on the first lap at Turn 5 which was annoying. It was an uphill battle from there, the tyres quickly faded with lack of front downforce, but we held on and made a big effort to make the Ultrasofts last until the end. We pitted really early to make an undercut which was a good strategy, and towards the end of the race I was catching Carlos for P10, but then I got hit from behind by a Sauber. Charles and I spoke afterwards and he said he lost the brakes, it’s pretty frustrating, but that’s Monaco. We were strong all weekend apart from Q1, where we didn’t get it all together. I was happy with how I was driving today but ultimately it wasn’t meant to be.”
Round 7 – Canada Grand Prix, Sunday 10th June 2018