Coming off his second points finish of the season just last weekend in Germany, Brendon Hartley came to Hungary with a spring in his step and eager to enter the summer break with another strong weekend at the Hungaroring.
The signs looked positive early on that the Scuderia Toro Rosso team were right in the mix during free practice. Running inside the top 15 throughout the three free practice sessions, Brendon was feeling confident that making his way through to Q2 at a minimum was very much on the cards.
However as qualifying time approached, the skies looked ominous that weather conditions could play a major factor in the afternoon’s proceedings. For Q1 however, it remained dry throughout and a blistering final lap from Hartley secured his place through to Q2.
Those ominous clouds would develop however and while most crews started the second session on slicks, very quickly the track developed a requirement for intermediates. Once again times were close and Hartley’s raw talent came to the fore. A superb lap put him in P7 overall and as the chequered flag flew, confirmation that he was set to make his Q3 debut.
With the wet weather conditions intensifying, Pirelli’s wet tyre was now the only option for the 10 crews taking part in the final session. Knowing that finding the limit in the conditions would be tricky, after a couple of good efforts, Brendon put in one final charge at the end of the session which would pay dividends as he secured his best starting position of the season to date, P8 overall for tomorrow’s 70 lap race.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“The conditions were really tricky out there, but I’m incredibly happy to make it into Q3 for the first time! I had a couple of little mistakes at the end of Q3 when I started pushing the limits and I fell just short of Pierre’s time, which put us in P8. The whole way through Qualifying the team did a brilliant job with communication and strategy and the car felt good. I think we’re always hanging around the top 10, and to get both cars through today is a really big achievement. It’s quite hard to pass here so I need to have the best possible start and a good first lap. There might be some strategy in play as it’s a little bit of follow the leader around here, so hopefully we can hang on to a points position tomorrow.”
Race – 70 Laps
15:10 – 17:10 (Local Time – UTC+2)
01:10 – 03:10 (New Zealand – UTC+12)