Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Hartley dismisses rumours his seat is under threat

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In the round-up: Brendon Hartley dismissed suggestions he could lose his seat at Toro Rosso.

What they say

In the last two races weekends Hartley had an alarming near-miss with his team mate in Azerbaijan and crashed heavily in Spain. But he doesn’t feel his place at Toro Rosso is under threat.

I was surprised to hear about [the rumours] because I have a contract. I’m feeling more and more confident in a Formula One car.

F1 moves quickly, there’s a lot of critics, but obviously as a driver you’re your own biggest critic.

I had two weekends [that were] not completely clean. In fairness I scored my first point in Azerbaijan, and for the first weekends of the year I was ahead [of Pierre Gasly] in qualifying two of the three but ultimately we haven’t had the pace to be in the points all the time.

I was really happy with my race in Barcelona on Sunday. Again we didn’t have the pace to move much further up the grid but I felt I did more or less what I could.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is the proposed change of names for tyres in the 2019 F1 season a step forward?

I think that’s fine for the TV audience. Then the geeks like us can easily enough translate soft/medium/hard to which compound that refers to in the full range.

It might make some elements of commentary a bit more difficult for the broadcasters, comments such as “well in previous races Mercedes has struggled to get the F tyre to switch on”, but overall I think it’s more intuitive and understandable.

This week I was struggling to remember which was softer between a hyper-soft and an ultra-soft (shame on me), so I can only imagine the casual viewer would have little chance of knowing this.
Keith Campbell (@keithedin)

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Author information

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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35 comments on “Hartley dismisses rumours his seat is under threat”

  1. I don’t really buy into Hartley being scraped any time soon. His biggest issue has been the timing of mistakes, which puts him out of place on the grid.

    Gasly is 3-2 up in qualifying and Hartley is 3-2 up in races. The only difference between the two really is Hartleys mistake in Q2 at Bahrain, putting him way out of place at a circuit where the TR was capable of scoring decent points. What people neglect is like Hartley, Gasly has only been in the points once this season.

    One thing that does go unmentioned with Hartley is how valuable he has been in setting up the car. He has done the most laps in multiple sessions this season, and his feedback is exemplary compared to most drivers. I think thats very important to note when the rumoured replacement for Hartley is notorious for being difficult to get along with.

    Yes he has made costly errors at the worst possible time this year, but I do see him as a worthwhile work in progress. In light of his experience, not only would I say ten races is too little to make a call on Hartleys seat, I would also say ten races is too little to make a call on who gets the potential Red Bull seat next year. Can you really see the Verstappens and Gaslys getting on?

    Give him the season. Palmer got 37 races, Kvyat got 32 after being relegated to Toro Rosso, and people are calling for Hartleys head after 10 races?!?

    1. Agreed. Hartley does a solid job, after so long out of single seaters, and has excellent car knowledge. I remember Karun Chandhok talking about that when he came into the sport, that Brendon gave even more feedback than him.
      I do believe though that Hartley is just a placeholder for Toro Rosso, they don’t really have any young drivers excelling in the junior formulas, which is great news for him, but as soon as they get someone similar to Sainz or Gasly, Hartley will get until the end of that season. But it doesn’t look like being any time soon, unless they sign someone new up.

  2. I was surprised to hear about [the rumours] because I have a contract.

    I would have less confidence in the contract, because I suspect that it might be a short-term deal, and more confidence in the fact that their talent pipeline is suddenly empty, after bringing some awesome drivers through to F1. Hell, they even had to let go of a future WEC and Formula E champion, and the current FE points-leader because they had so much talent coming through. Given Buemi’s continued association with Red Bull, I’d place my money on him to replace Hartley if he loses his seat at the end of the year.

    RE Stuart Codding’s tweet: Maybe the owner of the yacht is a reclusive, bootlegging millionaire smitten with a young, married socialite and is simply paying tribute to his hero’s lifestyle.

    1. Following the wrodplay tradition in boatnaming that yatch’d be called Gets By.
      – How do you like your boat? – Oh, it is a gets by.
      Ba dum tss!

      1. Following the wrodplay tradition in boatnaming that be yatch’d called Gets By.

        Fixed it for you, good sir.

    2. How does Hartley get his hair to look so perfectly messy all the time?

      1. woops :x

      2. @skipgamer – He Hartley combs it.

        1. ColdFly (@)
          25th May 2018, 7:56

          Ba dum tss!

    3. Buemi? He didn’t look any good when he was in f1, I’d be more interested in seeing vergne come back, they preferred kvyat over him just because he was younger, even if vergne had the better season, and kvyat ended up not being good enough to handle pressure, vergne would’ve done better than him at least.

      1. Buemi has maintained his ties with Red Bull, while Vergne has gone out of his way to bad mouth the team – methinks Dr. Marko isn’t a very forgiving chap. I’d bet they’d be more welcoming to Kvyat than JEV.

  3. Wonder if Ferrari are regretting that single US tyre choice. Very interesting how it may play out if deg on the Hyper is higher than expected. Monaco might actually be worth watching this year!!!!!

    1. To say Brendon needs a clean and strong result is a understatement, P1 and P2 have been good so far so l wish him the best.

      1. P3 brendon still looks good fingers crossed for him

    2. @mach1 It wouldn’t surprise me if Kimi is used to hold up the whole pack at some point

      1. As much as I hate treating a driver who might be on his last f1 year and is still hunting a last win with much better performance this year, if they get the chance it may actually pay off in monaco, so hard overtaking is.

        1. treating a driver that way* ofc.

  4. Maybe I am remembering past season wrong, but it seems that the 2/3 drivers hegemony on the last seasons will mark those decades as one of a series of irrelevant middle bottom grid drivers.
    In the last 10 years, 2 drivers (+rosberg) disputed and won the championship.
    And just a dozen had a chance of a GP win.
    Yes, we had forgettable drivers- whose names I can’t recall, but the it seems to get worse.
    Sometimes more than half of the field is relegated to a obscure second, third tier, only to make the news when their seat were “in jeopardy”, when another driver complaints about their incompetence, or when they get involved in a accident.
    For instance, Perez and Hulkeberg were, let’s say, in the bubble, as drivers that could, under more favorable circunstances, a couple of victories and an handful of podiums. But as one has to go back 5 years to see a great PER performance, his chances to leave a mark on the record are pretty dim.
    Think of Hartley or Wehrlein – apparently they are good enough drivers to make a career in other series, but with no relevant results and maybe will have very limited opportunities to prove themselves at F1.
    And Sainz, he seems talented and have a lot of support. But if the stars were not perfectly aligned he will maybe have a few podiums. Where would he go? Ferrari, Mercedes? Would Renault jump over RB. RB would find a proper engine?
    F1 was never a soft endeavour, but the current situation seems to aggravate the meat grinding machine.

    1. not entirely true, in 2008 we had 2 drivers fighting, LH and FM, Kimi and Robert weren’t too far back either.Of course 2009 was a bit less of a challenge, but SV made a good charge at the end, had it not been for SV 3 retirements to JBs 1, it might have been quite different.
      FA and SV had a fight in 2010, MW was lingering in the background too, and given the opportunity by RB would have been up there or in front too. 2011 saw SV run away with it, but 2nd place was a good fight between JB and MW. We then had SV and FA fighting again in 2012, before SV romped away from FA again in 2013, then of course we see the dominance of Mercedes and LH being the clear leader of the pack, then again in 2015, before NR close season over LH in 2016, and 2017 saw LH do it again, though if not for SV floundering in the second half, would have been much closer, and of course now in 2018, LH is at the top, but that could swing in SV favour quickly, or even VB, and if KR wasn’t so unlucky, even him.
      I think overall, whilst there has been some repetitive names, it has been quite varied with genuine title contenders or lapping at the heels totalling 8, 10, or 11, depending on how you count it.

    2. I just think it that after 2014 when the hybrids came and mercedes totally dominated the sport it has been impossible to shine in mid field cars. It is just impossible because the difference between the top 3 teams and everybody else is so huge. And even the top 3 teams have been in the same order since 2015 with william’s 2014 season being the only standout in last 5 years. And even then williams 2014 was all about the mercedes engine. Put a renault in that car and it’s another season to forget.

      Just look at vandoorne for example. He hasn’t been able do anything in that mchonda. It was just total disaster of an engine. Both button and alonso were nowhere with it. It is impossible task. Same with all midfield cars. When perez had his good races he took an opportunistic approach and it paid off. It just is not possible to happen nowadays. You can’t be opportunistic because there is no way to be faster than those top 3 teams. No way at all. Even if you are on better new tires they’ll just fly past you. The margins are insanely huge. Back when perez had his good results the difference was small enough that he could conserve his tires and eek out little bit of extra performance that put him ahead. Drive well. And then he could keep it there because the margins were small.

      A driver used to be maybe 5% and the car was 95% of the performance. And with the car it was 85% chassis, 10% engine. Now it is 60% engine, 39% chassis and 1% driver. But the 5% in driver was enough to make a difference with little bit of luck because the car difference was also 5%. Nowadays it is just 1% driver and the difference between the cars is always more than 10%. The numbers don’t allow it unless all top 3 teams crash out.

      I think lots of people like hating rosberg just because… but rosberg just like hamilton won (and lost) effectively a 2 car championship. There was nobody else there to care about except the team mate. It is easy to say the depth in drivers is not there but in reality driver’s skill is all about the car. When everybody but 2 drivers have bad cars it is easy to blame the drivers. It is the cars that make the drivers look bad. It is an optical illusion. A convenient excuse. The drivers are fine. The cars are not.

      1. Still @socksolid, Perez had a podium as recently as 2016 here in Monaco; sure, rain, and thus not exactly countering your arguments, but it shows that some element of surprise, and opportunity does remain.

      2. @socksolid, your use of Perez throws up a rather major flaw in your argument though, which is the fact that Perez has actually scored more podium finishes when using the current V6 turbo engines than he did under the previous V8 engine format – funny how he has managed to do what you claimed “is not possible to happen nowadays”.

        The podium finishes that he picked up in that V8 era were also all during 2012, a season where people constantly moaned about how it was “too random” and that driver skill was becoming secondary to the tyres, which people felt were too variable in performance.

      3. Just commenting on your first part: i have to say almost no driver shined but one name in 2015 was above all (media like and his actions, i wish not to say dat Max the best but certain everyone was talking about him …)

        daring overtakes and the like..

      4. @socksolid first of all, perez has been able to get a podium even this year in baku, ofc red bulls retired, and bottas had a late puncture, but he still did his job by being best of the rest and when vettel made a mistake, overtaking him and then defending with drs, it’s occasionally possible to get podiums with midfield cars, even without 4 of the top cars retiring.

        But a question: I haven’t followed f1 much the years before 2017 unless we go back to when schumacher retired: the gap between the top teams and midfield is nowadays like 1,5 seconds, and so was in 2017; how much was it between top and midfield cars you said the driver made more of a difference?

        1. when you said*

        2. @esploratore
          It is not about being the best of the rest. It is about driving better than the cars ahead when the situation presents itself and finishing ahead of them. When you get your tactics correct or safety car gives you a special opportunity. You still need to beat faster cars on track. Finishing on podium just because everybody ahead of you had technical issues or crashed out is nothing special. Being there on the podium because you drove well and beat better teams is what is special.

          If you are seriously asking about the lap time differences between the teams then in 2018 the gap between first and tenth place is typically around 2 seconds. In 2012 it was about 1 second for example. It is widely acknoledged issue that the f1 in the hybrid era is very clearly divided into two divisions. Top division which are merc, ferrari and red bull and then the rest in the 2nd division.

          Next time when the qualifying comes look at the difference between p6 and p7. You’ll see that big jump in lap time in every single qualifying. You have mercedes, ferrari and red bull, then a big gap and then the rest. Then go to 2013 and backwards and there is no bump like that. That’s the huge differentiator that makes it impossible to get to the podium for any 2nd division team unless everybody ahead has technical troubles or super weird situations.

          1. @socksolid I think you take me for some kind of first timer, I KNOW of the current gaps, I said 1,5 sec but it’s track dependant, sometimes it’s indeed 2 sec, I call them A series: ferrari, mercedes, red bull, B series: the rest of midfield, occasionally C series: williams, sauber, though the latter improved a lot.

            The superiority of A series teams is such that on a typical race if any of them starts last you expect him to recover till 6th even if none of the other series A teams has any retirement, perhaps verstappen will be the exception here in monaco since it’s so hard to overtake.

            I was asking about a few years ago, so yes, 1 sec is surprisingly close compared to now.

            Indeed, podiums are basically impossible for anyone from outside the top 3 teams, perez managed it even with 3 top cars in the race but he only got the chance with the SC and vettel’s mistake.

  5. Regarding the COTD: People are always eager to make a big story out of nothing. I’ve never found it confusing nor complicated at all with this many different compound names, LOL. Actually, I’ve always rather liked it this way, so I wish this particular approach would be kept instead. If this were to happen then at the very least, hopefully, they’d still keep informing beforehand which three specific compounds are going to available for each race like was the case from 2007 to 2010 when Bridgestone was F1’s sole tyre supplier before the current Pirelli era.

    1. @jerejj I furthermore don’t understand how giving the same names to different tyres on different weekends and making fans dig for info which tyre it actually is is supposed to reduce any confusion. If anything, it would add confusion that wasn’t there before. If hyper/ultra/super are confusing, maybe they could just use numbers or letters?

  6. What can be implied from the very vague and wonderful pu accusations is actually extreme cheating.

  7. What a bunch of ridiculous arguments

  8. Hypersoft is the new pink one. The order of the others is obvious.

  9. Kvyat has also been doing so until… eh things happened.

  10. Thanks for the birthday greetings. Wasn’t expecting to see that, Keith.

    Great job on the collaborations w/ Dieter, btw.

Comments are closed.