New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley has so far impressed many onlookers with his continual improvement so far during the early part of his Formula 1 debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso at the 2017 United States Grand Prix.
Having had a last minute call up in the weeks leading up to the event to join the team, Hartley has so far completed all sessions up to Qualifying one, where he secured his equal best time of the weekend to finish the session in 18th overall.
Forced to serve a 25 place grid penalty for the race following an engine change in advance of the event, the 27 year old has shown superb pace over his long runs in practice with excellent tyre management, something he is hoping will be key to a strong performance in the race on Sunday.
Brendon Hartley – #39 Scuderia Toro Rosso:
“A difficult qualifying session – still a lot to learn! – but I’m smiling! These cars are incredibly fast and awesome to drive and when you go out on low fuel and new tyres it’s such a peak in performance! I didn’t quite nail the session, but I can’t forget that I’ve been thrown in at the deep end here, so I’m pretty satisfied with how the weekend has gone so far. My long run pace is pretty good, I guess that’s what I know how to do well anyway from endurance racing! I feel quite confident managing tyres, so I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. I haven’t done a standing start in a long time, but hopefully I can manage a clean start and see what we can do after that. I’m really enjoying my Formula 1 debut! There’ll be a few butterflies in my stomach tomorrow for sure, but I’ve been pretty relaxed all weekend. I’m trying to tell myself it’s just another race, even though I know it’s obviously not… It’s really my F1 debut! But I’ll sleep well tonight and push as hard as I can. I’m excited to see how far we can move up the grid tomorrow!”