Brendon Hartley’s Russian Grand Prix debut has been a challenging weekend so far, and early retirement from the race wasn’t the positive end to the weekend he had been hoping for.
Having taken delivery of Honda’s vastly improved engine package going into Free Practice, the upgrade also came with a series of grid penalties that would see both Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid. However, their improved pace from the upgrade left the team feeling confident, but they opted to save their advantage for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix and revert back to the older specification power unit.
Confident in their long run race pace, Hartley had hoped a bold tyre strategy could pay off in the race. However a brake issue that ended up affecting both cars sent him into an unfortunate early retirement.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“I had a good start and passed Pierre before Turn 5, I was attacking the McLaren when the brake pedal went long. I reported it on the radio and then made our planned pit stop. We were going to try and be a bit cheeky with the strategy and do almost a full race on the Softs, we had great tyre life and pace and think it would have worked. However, once I left the pits the pedal went completely to the floor, the rears locked and the car spun. The same happened across both cars at the same moment so I’m sure the team will quickly diagnose and sort it out for the next race. We are all excited for Suzuka with the upgrades and performance we saw on Friday.”
Round 17 – Japanese Grand Prix, Sunday 7th October 2018.