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Hartley happy to salvage podium

Brendon Hartley says he never gave up hope of delivering the podium finish he achieved in the Macau Grand Prix - despite starting the race down in 20th on the grid

He collided with James Jakes off the line in the qualification race, but knew he had a quick car underneath him by setting the fastest lap later on following hasty repairs by his Carlin Motorsport team in the pits.

Although starting on the tenth row, Hartley benefited from a series of collisions ahead of him to steadily move up the order - realising early on that he could achieve a podium spot.

"To be honest, I started the race pretty positive," said the New Zealander. "I had very high expectations this weekend, but we just couldn't put it all together.

"In yesterday's race we were able to do some really fast laps and again in the warm-up this morning I was able to do a really good lap.

"And after the first few corners I knew I could achieve something. The first lap was hectic; I felt pretty good driving and avoiding the crashes. I just stayed out of trouble and kept looking well ahead.

"After the first lap I was P8 already so I knew I had a pretty good shot and it all came together nicely."

Hartley admitted it was difficult to make much progress as cars ahead of him had better top line speed - even though he felt he was quicker over the whole lap and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.

"In the race itself I was always following another two cars and the Toyota train was too fast to overtake on the straights, but I knew I was quicker over the lap," he said.

"I knew I had the speed so I stayed patient, kept my head in there and didn't make mistakes. I knew I was fast enough to do it if I stayed calm.

"I knew we were strong and we ended with a good place in the end. I'm really happy."

And Hartley has said that he would be keen to return to Macau and try to win the event outright.

"I hope to come back again next year," he said. "This is the best track in the world, I love it here."

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