New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley has been enjoying a better turn of luck on recent events as the 2018 Formula 1 season begins to draw to a close. Hoping to finish his season in style, Hartley arrived in Brazil, a circuit he is very familiar with from the WEC and with Toro Rosso in 2017 hoping to secure another strong result from the weekend.
Struggling with the balance of this Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 in Free Practice, Friday and Saturday’s early running didn’t start the weekend off as he would have hoped. However the team worked hard and were hopeful their efforts would finally be reflected in qualifying.
Early indications were good for Brendon as he was inside the window for Q2, but with track conditions evolving by the minute as dark clouds loomed over Sāo Paulo, on his final run a small lock up at turn eight would rob him of some final time that would ultimately be the difference for Q2 promotion as the chequered flag dropped. As a result, Brendon will start tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix from P17. With very mixed weather conditions forecast for a circuit that has thrown up its fair share of surprise results over the years, Hartley remains focused on maximising all of the race’s 71 laps to secure a strong finish.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“I was two-hundredths of a second from going through to Q2 today, which is annoying. I made a mistake on my lap with a big front lock into Turn 8, it caused a small flat spot and I lost around one and a half tenths which made the difference of a shot at Q2. It was tricky out there with the rain, but I had good information from the pit wall and my engineers about the track conditions. I was happy with the car and I want to thank the team for the good work over the last few days, after I wasn’t too happy with the balance in free practice. The margins were tight today and we just missed out. It’s going to be a tough race for us, but the car felt decent and anything can happen tomorrow, especially if we have mixed conditions which are forecast.”
Race – 71 Laps
15:10 – 17:10 (Local Time – UTC-2)
06:10 – 08:10 (New Zealand – UTC+13)