Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Hartley admits he was “mentally drained” by the end of 2017

2018 F1 season

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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.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
2018 testing day three in pictures
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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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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5 comments on “Hartley admits he was “mentally drained” by the end of 2017”

  1. How many races he withstand in 2018 before nervous breakdown?

  2. I like this guy. He is different. Wonder if his time in F1will be short because of the “might” at the top end of the grid ? Does he even have a whisper of hope for that first victory ? The odds are stacked against him.

    1. I had irrational high hope for Brendon Hartley that he would be the perfect development driver needed by Toro Rosso Honda as the way he helps develop Porsche in LMP1. But yeah, I’m afraid that he’ll not be around when Honda reach that.

  3. I really like this guy.
    He is just real.
    Not like Gasly which is a big blabber mouth.
    I really hope he does good.

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