Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Toro Rosso aero upgrade working better than expected – Hartley

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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The upgrade Toro Rosso has brought for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend is performing much better than expected, according to Brendon Hartley.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018
Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
Hartley’s team mate Pierre Gasly took fifth on the grid for Sunday’s race while Hartley came close to joining him in Q3. However Gasly received the upgrade before his team mate.

“It was an awesome job by the whole team,” said Hartley. “Obviously I’ve been on the back foot only getting the update for today so Pierre got to use that all of yesterday. But the fact we have so much performance is really, really encouraging.”

The new aerodynamic package, which includes revised barge boards, has given the team a big step forward, said Hartley.

“The estimate from Toro Rosso of the performance from the upgrade was quite small and it ended up being a lot larger than they estimated which is also fantasticm,” he said. “It’s normally the other way.

“There’s also upgrades planned from Honda, more from Toro Rosso, so it’s really encouraging.”

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018
Toro Rosso’s previous-specification barge boards…
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018
…and the upgraded version (click to enlarge)

Hartley failed to reach Q3 following a bizarre incident during Q1. “I destroyed my front wing with a bird,” said Hartley. “I then put three sets of tyres in Q1 which only left me one set of tyres for Q2 which obviously wasn’t helpful.

“But I couldn’t control that. I didn’t see the bird, I doubt he’s still alive but the wing was also destroyed.”

“I had no front downforce,” he added. “I told the team we needed a lot more front wing and they told me we had a hole in the front wing. And I was two seconds off the pace. That was a wasted run and then we had to spend another set of tyres.”

Hartley then had to complete his Q2 with a single set of new tyres.

“The lap in Q2 was pretty good. A small mistake in the last sector. But obviously only having one set in Q2 after destroying the first set didn’t help. I think I was one-and-a-half, two tenths off Pierre’s time. Quite honestly, really encouraging. I get a new set of tyres for the start tomorrow, P11, we have to be focusing on points.”

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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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  • 8 comments on “Toro Rosso aero upgrade working better than expected – Hartley”

    1. Better setup, new barge board, new floor, new parts on the brake drums and soon an upgraded engine. Very encouraging indeed. Best of luck!

      1. And for all the people prematurely criticizing Hartley, he hasn’t got a new ICE and in FP3 he was apparently right with Gasly and then obviously unfortunate qualifying.

    2. Duncan Snowden
      7th April 2018, 23:01

      Honda PU working better than expected, too. (Well, better than McLaren expected, at least. I hate to say, “I told you so”, but… well, actually I said, “Never underestimate Honda’s capacity for screwing things up, but if they’re ever going to come good it’ll be this year”, or words to that effect. Given my woeful record on predictions, I’m sticking that in the win column.)

      Forza Minardi!

    3. R.I.P. bird…we hardly knew you

    4. Andre Furtado
      8th April 2018, 0:24

      I keep on reading about people praising Honda. I want to remind that we need to see how many engines blow up this year before giving praise.

      1. Both those Toro Rosso cars have already had to replace PU after last GP weekend. Which means either they have to do 20 races on 2 PU or start taking penalties much sooner than rest.

        1. Very interesting, didn’t know that. I wonder if that means Honda are pushing their engines to the extreme for performance in order to get good publicity. It doesn’t help much to have an engine with a good performance if it’s going to blow up and give you a ten places grid penalty every race. It would make more sense to lower a bit the performance to get some reliability.

        2. Their 1st engine can still be used. Many teams do that last year, must be maintenance and parts replacement required.

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