The 2018 Formula 1 World Championship moves to Spielberg in Austria for the second of three race weekends in a row this season. New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley was hoping this would be the weekend that would see a change in his fortunes around the home circuit for Toro Rosso team owners Red Bull.
During Friday’s pair of free practice sessions, the team worked hard with Brendon to dial in the latest aerodynamic upgrade on the STR13, hoping it would deliver another boost in pace for the weekend’s qualifying session. However the fast and bumpy nature of the Austrian circuit formally known as the A1 Ring would see many drivers pickup damage to their delicate aero components ahead of qualifying.
Setting a good time early on in Q1, Hartley was looking good for promotion to Q2. However as the clock counted down the final moments of the session, Hartley left the pits to begin one final flying lap to safe guard his progression. However as he built up to begin his lap, a yellow flag in sector two hampered his efforts to improve his time and with that see him finish the session in P19.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“Yup, yesterday was not the day I hoped for. I haven’t been comfortable with the car balance and missed out on progressing to Q2 by 1 tenth. Yes, I had to revert back to the old spec front wing due to damaging one in FP3 which didn’t help, but it wasn’t everything. Head down and will try and create or capitalise on opportunities in the race today.
Race – 71 Laps
15:10 – 17:10 (Local Time – UTC+2)
01:10 – 03:10 (New Zealand – UTC+12)