Hartley given 50-page drivers’ manual to prepare for debut

2017 United States Grand Prix

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New Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley says he expects to get up to speed on his Formula One debut despite not having driven a single-seater for six years.

The 27-year-old told Newstalk ZB he’d had a chance to do an afternoon in Toro Rosso’s simulator since his World Endurance Championship outing at Fuji last weekend.

Brendon Hartley biography
“I’ve just been handed the driver manual which is about 50 pages long,” Hartley added. “I’ve got to learn all the procedures of the car, the steering wheel.”

“I have four hours of testing before qualifying and I’d like to think that will be enough to get up to speed.”

Hartley expects the experience of racing a WEC LMP1 car will prepare him well for Formula One.

“In terms of pure lap time, it’s not that much [different],” he said. “It’s seven or eight seconds per lap. It’s not that much, especially on race pace.”

“The cars I’ve been driving are extremely quick. I guess it’s partly the reason why they’ve looked to put me in the car, and also the fact the cars are so technologically advanced, hybrid technology, all that stuff. That’s similar.”

“It is going to be a big step,” he added. “It’s been six or seven years since I sat in a single-seater. But I try to take a simple view of it: It’s a race car, it’s got four wheels, the physics behind what a driver has to do to go quickly around a racing circuit doesn’t change too much.”

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    36 comments on “Hartley given 50-page drivers’ manual to prepare for debut”

    1. Hah, it’s somewhat refreshing to hear a pro racing driver not make a biggy about going into his first F1 race without much prior preparation.

      “In terms of pure lap time, it’s not that much [different],” he said. “It’s seven or eight seconds per lap. It’s not that much, especially on race pace.”

      I usually hear F1Fanatics make a big drama about such pace difference.

      1. Pole difference will be 12s at least.

        1. Then again @juzh, @damon, I think it’s realistic for him and the team to expect him to not be a superstar in qualifying, given how much teams have been struggling this year to get everything, including tyres, right on the Saturday afternoon, see for example di Resta’s experience too, but, if he can make good progress in the race, that puts him at advantage to Kvyat and (for a possible 2018 ride) an inexperienced Ghasly. So yes, 12s potentially in qualifying, and maybe he’s only able to get 10s of that, but if he can be in the running during the whole race, could be very interesting.

          1. I was under the impression we would see Hartley on an all Kiwi Chip Ganassi IndyCar team next year. The 10 car is his.

            1. I’d assume it’s still the case, Steve. Isn’t he just there as a temporary replacement for Sainz?

            2. Hartley’s F1 appearance is going to be really good business for both Indycar and Liberty. Gasly’s Super Formula appearance is going to be really good business for Honda and Toro Rosso.
              This weekend must have Bernie fuming already!

      2. When asked what it was like after driving a Lola Chevrolet Can-Am car for the first time, compared with what he’d been racing – Ralt Cosworth formula Atlantic – Bobby Rahal said: “not much different, just the straights are shorter”.

      3. He does seem quite laid back, doesn’t he @damon. Also the part about 4 hours of practice being enough to get up to speed

    2. RULE 1: stop at red light
      RULE 2: when red light is off………. FLOOR IT BABY!!!

      1. RULE 3: upon chequered flag on slow down lap……. avoid car no.5!!!!

        1. @willienjg – damn it, you almost made me laugh out loud in a work call.

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          18th October 2017, 14:59

          Rule 4: You can’t get out of Thebumphor car in a pit stop

      2. That’s how you get wheelspin

    3. joe pineapples
      18th October 2017, 13:55

      Should have to download a pdf like the rest of us :)

    4. Michael Brown (@)
      18th October 2017, 14:47

      Study this video: https://youtu.be/8u6LwveThc0

      1. He starts in second gear? I did not expect that.

        1. Wet start, starting in second avoids wheelspin.
          Typically in wet conditions the drivers are on a higher gear than in dry conditions to have a smoother power delivery (and the cars have plenty of torque anyways).

      2. That’s quite cool. Amazing how much they mess with those dials and controls.

        @nase, Yeah weird. Perhaps because it’s wet to prevent wheel spin?

      3. That is a great clip, thanks for the link.

      4. Poor Gasly and Hartley

      5. I got confused with all that pushing and rotating…

      6. Why did it take so long for the safety car to get to Hamiton? Was the safety car waitinbg for him on the pit straight or what?

    5. 50 page driver’s manual? Did the first page start out with a non-disclosure agreement and terms of service?

      1. You need 50 pages to explain the steering wheel…

      2. Only 50 pages?
        The user manual for my new TV is 56 pages and I bet its easier to drive than any F1 car.

    6. first words to the team:
      “Where is the gear shift?”

      1. At least it won’t be “How do you select Drive?”

    7. I fear whomever got this drive was always going to be being set up for failure. Not by some deliberate act of the team but purely due to testing restrictions. Same with new all F1 drivers since, what, 2008? Once upon a time, one of the best things about F1 was when a new driver would turn up and be way faster than he had any business being. Don’t see how that can happen any more. You could leave the doors open too, and get change from a fiver. Of course there was no internet then either. All this was fields.

    8. While I was skimming the front page I thought the title of this article was

      ‘Hartley given 50-place grid penalty’

      And the sad thing is, it didn’t even seem odd!

      1. He does have a 30 place penalty apparently.

    9. by the way, I love the “deer in the headlights” look in the photo above.

      1. Looks like he should be in a Wallace & Gromit movie.

    10. For those that don’t know Newstalk ZB is usually the top rating radio station in New Zealand. Brendon did two interviews with them (audio), one just after his seat was announced and one on Tuesday. The links are here:

    11. Including Hartley 25 drivers have raced the F1 cars this season.

    12. So they gave him the F1 2017 game manual?

      I kid but that game probably has more detail in their tutorial system than a manual only 50 pages long, considering that the sheer amount of systems drivers have to manage nowadays.

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