Brendon Hartley has signed off his 2018 season with a strong performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, securing P12 in the final race of the season.
The race got off to a slightly dramatic start when an incident between Nico Hülkenberg and Romain Grosjean during the opening lap lead to an early Safety Car. Flying debris from the incident damaged the New Zealander’s front wing and immediately forced him into the pits for an early stop. With no further spares of their new specification front wing available, Hartley was then forced to return to the race with an older specification front wing and a new set of tyres that he would need to maintain for the remainder of the race.
Having come from the back of the field, Hartley worked his way up the order during the race in a superb recovery drive. Preserving his tyres while also maintaining a strong pace, he was up to P15 with 15 laps to go. From there he would make further progress in the closing laps of the race, to eventually take the chequered flag in P12.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“Unfortunately, my race was kind of over on the first lap. I didn’t have anywhere to go with the crash into Turn 8 and I had to go off track to avoid the cars in front. I ran into some debris and damaged the front wing, so I had to stop on the first lap and then did a whole race on one set of tyres with the old spec front wing, which was always going to be an uphill battle. I managed the tyres well, but after the issue on lap one, P12 was pretty much the maximum we could manage. I’ve finished the year a lot stronger than I started it as the past few races have been great, however today didn’t work out as planned. I’m happy with my progression throughout the season and I feel like I’ve come out of this year a stronger individual and racing driver.”