The 2018 Formula 1 World Championship resumed from its summer break this week as the teams travelled to Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian round of this year’s championship. Feeling recharged after an exciting trip to Colorado during the break, Brendon was hoping he could build on the impressive form he showed over the recent events.
Widely regarded as a challenging circuit, Spa-Francorchamps demands a lot from both drivers and cars during a 7.004km lap. During free practice, the Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers looked as though they still had some time to find ahead of Saturday’s qualifying.
As Qualifying got underway however, it was clear that their persistence had paid off, with both drivers carving their way into Q2 for another shot at an overall best lap. With dark clouds looming over the Ardennes forest, track conditions maintained a status quo for the duration of the session. A superb lap from Hartley placed his STR13 in P12 for Sunday’s race. However a pre-event penalty for Valtteri Bottas would see the Kiwi promoted to P11 on the grid and with it, a prime position to optimise his race strategy with an open tyre choice compared to those just in front.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“After FP2 and FP3 we knew today was going to be a challenge. I think as a team we got most of the performance out of the car and it felt quite good. Making it to Q3 would have been a bit of a stretch today, but in the end it was a pretty good day for us. I would have loved the rain to have come a bit earlier because historically we’re pretty good in mixed conditions, but we have been able to achieve the best we could today. P11 and P12 was a good result – especially since we will both move up a position after Bottas’ penalty. We’re in a good position to hopefully fight for points tomorrow.”
Race – 44 Laps
15:10 – 17:10 (Local Time – UTC+2)
01:10 – 03:10 (New Zealand – UTC+12)