Following a disappointing day on Saturday, Brendon Hartley was keen to refocus and make amends on Sunday for round five of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship in Barcelona.
Starting from the back of the grid, Hartley got a good start to the race and was lucky to avoid the opening lap drama that brought out an early Safety car. Looking to capitalise on any opportunity, the team opted to pit Brendon early and move over to the medium compound tyre, effectively putting them onto a one-stop strategy.
Despite loosing some ground early on, the decision proved to be a sensible call as Hartley charged through the field and edged ever closer to the top 10. Inside the final five laps, Brendon was now in P13 but keen to move further up the order. Closing in on the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson, a superb move on lap 62 rewarded the Kiwi with P12, a position he would then maintain to the end of the race.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“I had a clean start and made up a few positions on the first lap. The mechanics did an amazing job to get the car ready for today – it was actually finished last night – we just had to do the car setup this morning. We decided to pit under the first safety car and go straight on to the medium to effectively do a one-stop. It worked, but it meant we lost a couple of positions in the beginning. It was difficult to overtake today, I think some of the cars around us had a bit more top speed which made life difficult. I had a good overtake on Marcus at the end to get 12th and if I had made the overtake a little bit earlier there would have been the chance for 11th as well, because the pace was definitely there at the end of the race.”
Round 6 – Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 27th May 2018.