Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley realised he must defend himself in F1

Brendon Hartley says he has become more outspoken in Formula 1 because he has realised he needs to defend himself

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley realised he must defend himself in F1

The Toro Rosso driver's future is uncertain given Red Bull has re-signed Daniil Kvyat to its junior team for next season and is keen on Alexander Albon for the second seat.

Hartley has insisted he has a valid contract for 2019 and has become more agitated in the closing races of the season, including disagreeing with his own team's press release during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.

Asked in Mexico about becoming more vocal recently, Hartley said: "Well I have to keep answering questions about my immediate future.

"I guess I've realised I also have to defend myself a little bit.

"It just felt like I had to stand up for myself sometimes and fight for my cause which I am doing.

"I know that I've done a really good job these last races and I'm feeling in a really good place."

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost declared in the build-up to the Mexican GP that Hartley needed to do a better job to secure his future.

That is at odds with Hartley's own recent assessments, as the New Zealander has been keen to point out he believes he has compared well against team-mate Pierre Gasly - who will be promoted to the Red Bull team next year.

Hartley has been very close to Gasly on pace this year but trails considerably in the championship with four points to his team-mate's 29.

"There have been a few races where the first lap didn't go well or there was contact on the first lap," said Hartley.

"It's true the margins have sometimes been very tight in qualifying which has made a big difference to the race outcome.

"There were races like Austria where I was on for points and I really had a good pace but the suspension failed.

"There were races like Hungary where I qualified in the top 10 and we split the strategies - I wasn't the only one to miss out, along with the Renaults we pitted early and got overcut by the rest, and that was simply a case of Pierre having a better first lap."

Hartley conceded there were "many missed opportunities" at the start of the season, as he combined his rookie F1 campaign with a major career re-adjustment.

The Kiwi's unorthodox F1 chance came following seven years away from single-seaters, having switched to sportscars after being dropped by Red Bull as a junior and gone on to win two World Endurance Championship titles and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

"I'm here now, I feel very comfortable in the environment and I'm doing a good job but it hasn't always fallen my way," he said.

"I've concentrated on my own performance despite everything going on and I know in myself I'm in a really good place and I know the job that I'm doing."

shares
comments
Red Bull hopes Ricciardo escapes 'dark cloud' in final '18 F1 races

Previous article

Red Bull hopes Ricciardo escapes 'dark cloud' in final '18 F1 races

Next article

Lewis Hamilton: Italian GP win was biggest F1 2018 blow for Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton: Italian GP win was biggest F1 2018 blow for Ferrari
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Brendon Hartley
Teams Toro Rosso
Author Scott Mitchell
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021