Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Hartley can still ‘hold my head high’ if he loses F1 seat

2018 F1 season

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Brendon Hartley says he can feel proud of the job he has done at Toro Rosso this year despite a difficult beginning to his first full Formula 1 season.

As F1 reaches its summer break Hartley has scored just two points compared to his team mate Pierre Gasly’s 26.

Gasly has been linked to a potential Red Bull promotion but Hartley’s future is unclear. Earlier in the season McLaren junior driver Lando Norris was linked to Hartley’s seat.

“If Formula 1 finishes at the end of the year or whenever I’ll hold my head high,” he said. “I know the job I’m doing behind the scenes and I know that I’m giving everything that I can.”

Hartley has suffered a series of crashes including in Spain (due to driver error), Canada (where he was hit by Lance Stroll) and Britain (suspension failure). However he is confident the team recognises his potential.

“Not everyone always knows the full story. But I feel in a good place and I hope I can consolidate the momentum I’ve had in the last weekends. Even if I didn’t always have the result I actually feel like I was very strong and I hope I can [get] some more results and more points on the board in the next races.”

Hartley said he has been taking advice from his former Porsche World Endurance Championship team mate and ex-Red Bull driver Mark Webber on coping with life in F1.

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“We chat quite a lot. I think all through my career I’ve learned that it’s good to take advice from as many people as you can and when you have someone like Mark who’s happy to pick up the phone or have a meal and discus everything I try and take full advantage of that. He’s a good friend and always has something interesting to say or advice to give or compare notes.

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2018
Silverstone was Hartley’s third big crash
“I think he saw many things in his time in Formula 1. I was very lucky to have him as a team mate in [WEC] as well. Especially off the track, managing situations, how to deal with the team, mentally how to deal with the pressures that are involved in Formula One. There’s a lot of advice he can offer and he’s been helpful.”

Webber set an example Hartley has learned from, he said. “Even early in the Porsche days it was very clear to me he wasn’t too fazed about rumours, just focused on the things that were important. Having a larger view, seeing the bigger picture.

“I think I’ve got better and better at that. I think especially this year being under a situation with a bit of pressure, coming from all angles, the media or whoever, actually it has made me feel a lot stronger and made me realise where my energy needs to be.

“I actually feel really good about the situation regardless of what’s written or not written. It’s made things a lot clearer for me, where my mind needs to focus and how I need to feel.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 12 comments on “Hartley can still ‘hold my head high’ if he loses F1 seat”

    1. You can tell he loves racing, for racing… While one Red Bull driver is quoted this week as saying he wants to go and do other things, or that they might not do it again if he started over. This is a man who was kicked out of the series, had the opportunity to give up and go and do other things, but he stuck with racing and got a second chance in F1.

      He really should hold his head up high, hasn’t bought his way in, battled all the way, sure there are more naturally talented racers probably, but his work ethic is incredible to give him the experience that got him where he is.

      I’d be interested to see how he goes in FE if he loses his F1 seat (as opposed to the dying WEC).

    2. The right attitude to have and I think his words hold some truth. He’s been very unlucky at times with car failures and the like seeming to affect him more than Gasly, but all things being equal, he’s been some distance from his team-mate.

      If only for lack of Red Bull backed alternatives for 2019, I could see him being retained for another year as a benchmark.

      He reminds me a little of Sebastien Bourdais and his outing in the Toro Rosso. A little older, superstar in other series etc. He was some distance from young Vettel, but was also unlucky, consistent and a good benchmark for Buemi the following year before being replaced.

      I hope he gets at least the rest of the season to give him a fair bite, but he’s clearly not top tier in this formula and wouldn’t be hugely missed if he was to be replaced.

    3. I agree, he deserves to hold his head high, hope he can grab some solid results in 2nd half of the year.

    4. I give Hartley all the credit in the world for pushing through adversity and clawing his way back into F1. That being said, some drivers just don’t do well in F1, and this is a great example. He is always a half second off his rookie teammate, if not more. If F1 went to Michelins, maybe he would be a half second quicker then Gasly. I think Gasly is much better at motivating the team around him and that’s vital in F1. He may be just too nice a guy. Maybe take advice from Alan Jones, not Webber.

      1. That’s an interesting bit of advice there @careypatrick, can’t say you are wrong either!

    5. If Gasly goes to Red Bull Racing, I see him staying at Toro Rosso.

      I don’t see many replacements lining up. Possibly Lando Norris, but who else?

    6. And he should. He was completely out of the picture. Was enjoying success elsewhere then suddenly brought back to a reality that was no longer his for almost 10 years.

      If it doesn’t work out, fine, he has options. It’s not the end of the world.
      His chance should’ve been years ago, not now, so, enjoy it while it lasts.

    7. No question he’s been unlucky but regardless qualifying/race he’s overall been a lot slower than Gasly. Has to be said if he was capable of regularly matching or being a lot closer to Gasly then Toro Rosso would probably have a lot more points than they do. I’m sure his experience is useful behind the scenes but in the car he’s just been slow and decent.

      He may be given another season because of Red Bull’s driver dilemma but I’d not be really shocked if he gets dropped anyway.

    8. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      8th August 2018, 18:12

      If he loses his current seat that would be ridiculous.

      However Torro Rosso’s loss will be Williams’ gain. They need this kind of driver desperately.

    9. I see Hartley as being the sort of driver Honda want. His experience driving WEC cars means he’s used to pushing the engine right to the limits of its capabilities without exceeding them. The current assumption is Hartley, Verstappen, Gasly, plus one other, possibly Sainz, will be using Honda engines next season. I think Honda will be wanting the two team principals to keep a tight rein on their drivers.

      1. @drycrust, I agree, I think he was bought in as a known quantity and safe pair of hands to help evaluate the Honda engine, or if you will a test driver using the races as tests.

    10. The difference between BH and PG is not as marked as the results say. Out of this years races and they have been both classified with enough laps to count a fastest race lap, its actually 4 each, and only on one occasion was PG 1sec quicker. BH is a better racer than qualifier, that is obvious, but he is improving, and apart from Aussie, most of his best race lap times ahead of PG were in the recent races, proving he is getting better as the season goes on.
      It would be a crying shame if he lost his seat next year, with the Honda development moving on, and RB getting an engine, we might see some Honda magic next year, and BH should benefit from that.
      If PG does go to Horners team, its not like TR have two drivers sitting in the wings, and they would be stupid to get two rookies two years in a row as well.

    Comments are closed.