Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Singapore, 2018

Hartley admits he needs to score more points amid doubt over 2019 drive

2019 F1 season

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Brendon Hartley admits he needs to score more points to strengthen his chance of holding onto his Toro Rosso drive for the 2019 F1 season.

His team mate Pierre Gasly will join Red Bull next year. However Helmut Marko’s recent remarks that the team has spoken to as many as 10 drivers indicates Toro Rosso may be considering an all-new line-up for 2019.

Hartley, who has scored just two points to Gasly’s 28, acknowledged he needs better results to keep his seat.

“I haven’t really had a direct discussion [with the team] about an exact result but it’s clear I haven’t finished in the points enough times when you compare with my team mate,” he said.

“Some of that was out of my control, some of it part in my control but honestly I’m just focused – one race at a time – on doing my job. And I’m very confident of the job I do behind the scenes and also I know that I’ve been improving the whole season.”

Hartley was eliminated in a first-lap crash in the last race at Monza. He said he has been “in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of the time” this year.

“But I’m also looking at myself, and what I can do better there. I’m just focusing on doing the best I can one race at a time, and I hope that I’m on the grid next year, which is my goal.”

Asked about Toto Wolff’s recent suggest that teams be allowed to run third cars, Hartley joked: “It would probably make 2019 contract negotiations a bit easier.”

Team mate Pierre Gasly said the team should target a points finish this weekend and Hartley agreed Singapore is “a big opportunity for us at Toro Rosso.”

“Historically the team’s done very well here. Last year they took fourth place with Carlos [Sainz Jnr] in some tricky conditions. If we take the last two races, we think this would be a strong opportunity for us.”

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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 needs to score more points amid doubt over 2019 drive”

  1. I think it’s 50/50 on Hartley getting another season with Toro Rosso. He’s had horrendous luck all year, but when he hasn’t been taken out by something out of his control, he hasn’t looked all that fast. But I do think it would do well for Toro Rosso to keep him an extra year, for stability if nothing else. They’ve burnt out enough drivers the past few years, and no one else in the junior program will have enough points for a super license for 2019.

  2. Didn’t realise there was doubt tbh

  3. Seriously … there’s drivers looking for a seat that actually have demonstrated a high level of talent that Toro Rosso should be doing all they can to secure.

    Stuff the RBR junior requirements – hardball with the other teams that have vested interests in the likes of Ocon, Wherlein & Vandoorne and bring them into the RBR fold. Other teams don’t seem to have problems getting drivers to break contracts, it’s time RB did that and stole a few juniors that teams like Mercedes aren’t going to use (or promote).

    Sorry Brendan but you’ve really not been good enough this year – I hate saying that as an Aussie but we need to keep Ocon in F1 and if that means you get booted so be it.

    1. as an Aussie

      Hartley isn’t Australian, mate…

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