Brendon Hartley endured a race to forget in round three of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, where track conditions unsuited to the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 and contact during the race resulted in the New Zealander’s first non-finish of the season.
Starting from P15, Hartley and teammate Pierre Gasly approached the race with very different strategies in a bid to move themselves up from their lowly starting position. Starting on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound tyre, Hartley quickly discovered that they offered very little grip and pitted early on to change.
Now racing from the back, Brendon got his head down in a bid to try and capitalise on the various pitstop strategies up ahead. However it was clear that he continued to struggle to match the pace of those in front, and following contact later in the race, the team ordered him to retire the car with a suspected gearbox issue.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“It was a tough day for us, at the beginning of the race I had no grip on the Ultrasofts so that compromised our strategy. Starting near the back of the grid we tried alternating strategies to give us a better chance but unfortunately that didn’t work. I think the accident with Pierre was down to a miscommunication. The team asked us to swap positions because we were on completely different strategies, so I was going to let him by on the exit of Turn 14 like I did at the start of the race. The second time we had to change positions I planned to do the same but I got hit from behind at the apex. Then towards the end of the race I had to retire because the team saw an issue with the gearbox. In the end it was a long afternoon.”
Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku – Sunday 29th April 2018