Brendon Hartley says he didn’t realise until the end of last season how “mentally drained” he was after his first races in Formula One.
Hartley dovetailed his first F1 races with his final appearances for Porsche’s World Endurance Championship team, which meant he did a long stretch of consecutive race weekends in late 2017.
Speaking after today’s test Hartley said “it’s obvious I’ll be a lot more prepared for the 2018 campaign compared to Austin, jumping straight in.”
“Also the fact I’ve had a couple of months to relax and recharge the batteries. I realised after the season finished how tired and mentally drained I was. At the time I told myself I was fine and I got through it.”
“But by the end I needed some time. It wasn’t just eight races in a row and all the travel, but all the things behind the scene to make this happen was pretty consuming. I feel fresh and ready and just really excited to have my first full season in Formula One.”
Hartley covered just two laps in the Toro Rosso today due to the very wet conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya. He said they were able to get a small amount of useful running done.
“We did get to test a couple of items that will go on the car for Melbourne,” said Hartley. “So signing off new parts, there was a little bit of constructive work done, but not a lot.”
“Watching from the outside you say ‘surely we have rain tyres?’,” he added. “But with the new surface and such cold conditions we could barely get tyre temperature.”
Pierre Gasly will take over the car again tomorrow. “It was a bit annoying for me not to get any dry running but I’m sure the next test will make up for that,” said Hartley.
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