Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Yas Marina, 2018

Hartley had difficulty adjusting from LMP1 to F1 – Tost

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Brendon Hartley has found it difficult to adapt to Formula 1’s high degradation tyres after racing in the World Endurance Championship, according to his Toro Rosso team boss.

Franz Tost said Hartley, whose place at the team next year has not been confirmed, struggled with his tyres during his mammoth 53-lap stint on super-softs in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Brendon started the race on the ultra-softs as we decided to put him on an alternate strategy to Pierre [Gasly]. Unfortunately, he was caught in the middle of the first lap accident in turn eight, so we had to call him in to change his front wing much earlier than planned.

“Then he started to struggle with his rear tyres because of overheating and he ended up finishing in 12th position, out of the points. Of course it wasn’t easy to come here from LMP1, it’s always a challenge to get familiar with everything in Formula 1 and especially tyre management is a big task to cope with.”

Hartley has been under pressure to raise his game to prove he deserves another year with the team. Tost said he has made progress this year. “He has been unlucky sometimes, but he has improved in the course of the season.”

Gasly, who will join Red Bull for the 2019 F1 season, failed to finish after his car suffered an oil leak.

“Pierre had a very good start, he moved himself into 13th position and he improved throughout the race, showing good pace which could have brought him to finish in 10th,” said Tost. “Unfortunately, a few laps before the end he had to retire due to an issue we need to investigate further.

“This was Pierre’s last race with us, he showed fantastic cooperation during the year and he improved a lot, showing he deserves his place in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. I want to thank him for his great performance and I wish him all the best.”

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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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10 comments on “Hartley had difficulty adjusting from LMP1 to F1 – Tost”

  1. Tost’s way of saying Brendon wasn’t good enough this season. Wonder who’s going to be his replacement?

    1. I don’t understand this team.
      They already have an outcome, they start looking for ways to fit that into their data. Because I don’t see what LMP1 and alternate strategy have got in common

    2. @todfod it seems Alexander Albon is really set to run for Toro Rosso as I remember reading something recently that Nissan eDAMS had already agreed with another driver to race for them in the Saudi Arabia ePrix.

  2. I think he’s safe for another year, he has improved through the season and had a lot of bad luck like yesterday

    1. @nosehair Sorry to say I don’t share your optimism, I think the writing’s on the wall for Hartley.

      1. “He has been unlucky sometimes, but he has improved in the course of the season.”

        Ouch, I thought this bit above might have been enough to get him a reprieve.

        That said, while Hartley’s a decent guy (sorry, “bloke”!) I think he’s not really cut out for F1. And seeing as he doesn’t bring much funding either, there’s little for any other team to consider him as an option.

    2. Having Kyvat as a known quantity, I think they will put a Rookie in the other car. No reason to spend both seats of your driver development team with drivers you know won’t drive for Red Bull.

      1. @dusty – very interesting point! Although, one wonders whether in 2019 TR are a driver development team or an engine development team :-)

  3. He is not used to save tires because he is coming from an Endurance series. I know it means he was used to good quality made for double stint Michelin tires and not Pirelli quality made for degradation tires, but it still sounds funny to hear him say that.

  4. He can leave with his head held high, proud to have been an F1 driver, chill out in Monaco for a bit, then go race more fast cars. It’s not such a bad life for young Brendon! :-)

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