New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley has finally brought his season to a close, finishing a credible 15th overall in the final race of the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship under the lights in Abu Dhabi.
In a season that’s gone from strength to strength, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, sealing a second FIA World Endurance Championship title and then making his Formula 1 debut in Mexico before being signed up for a full programme in 2018, following an intense succession of races between Formula 1 and the WEC, the Kiwi is finally set to get some down time as he looks towards his first full Formula 1 season in 2018.
Having been forced to take further engine component replacements during Friday’s free practice, Hartley was once again forced to start from the back of the grid for his final race of the year. Improving his Formula 1 starts with every race, Brendon got a good getaway to move up to 18th during the opening laps before climbing a further three places ahead of his first and only pitstop on lap 26.
Following the cycle of pitstops, Hartley was back up to 15th where he would remain to the end, taking the chequered flag and his second finish from his four race participation in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship.
Brendon Hartley – #28 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“It was always going to be an uphill struggle for us to hang on to that sixth place in the Championship and it’s a real shame to lose it. I’m obviously massively disappointed. On the positive side, I have to say that during these last few weeks with the team I’ve learned a lot and already feel at home – this is something very important to take into next year. Going back to this weekend, I had a pretty clean race. I was in a train of cars – a McLaren, a Haas, a Sauber, myself and Pierre behind. It’s just very tricky to overtake here with these big downforce cars. It’s been a massive learning curve for me during these last few weeks and I’m well overdue a holiday! I’m looking forward to recovering, having some down time, preparing well for 2018 and coming back even stronger for my first full F1 season!”