Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley remains confident of closing his 2018 Formula 1 season on a high in tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, having worked hard with his team on their race pace over the course of the weekend so far.
Having skirted around the outside of the top 10 throughout the free practice running on Friday and this morning around the 5.554km Yas Marina Circuit, the team were hopeful of making it into Q2 under the lights in the evening. However an unexpected shift in balance and change in on track conditions presented some challenges to their expectations. With Hartley fastest of the Toro Rosso drivers, he narrowly missed out on his spot in Q2 by just a few hundredths of a second.
Starting tomorrow’s final Grand Prix of the 2018 season from P16, he remains confident that he can replicate the race form he has displayed during the recent events to propel himself up the other and challenge for the final championship points of the season.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“We knew it was going to be tight today, but I was P12 this morning so we thought at least Q2 was possible. To be 16th and just missing out on Q2 two weekends in a row is frustrating. The track conditions were really different compared to a few hours ago, so we probably couldn’t get the most out of the car in Qualifying. We’ve put a lot of focus on race pace this weekend and there wasn’t much between me and Pierre today, but I think we just weren’t quite quick enough and I wasn’t particularly happy with the balance of the car. Hopefully we’ve done some good work during the practice sessions so we can have a strong car for the race tomorrow.”
Race – 55 Laps
17:10 – 19:10 (Local Time – UTC+4)
02:10 – 04:10 (New Zealand – UTC+13)