Scuderia Torro Rosso 2018
Posted 28 November 2018 - 01:31
Honda thanks Hartley for accelerating development
By: Chris Medland | 7 hours ago
Honda has thanked outgoing driver Brendon Hartley for his work with Toro Rosso, saying he helped to accelerate the Japanese manufacturer’s development this year.
Hartley will not be racing for the team in 2019 after Toro Rosso confirmed Alexander Albon will partner Daniil Kvyat, with Pierre Gasly moving up to Red Bull. Hartley had only joined Toro Rosso late last year at the end of Porsche’s World Endurance Championship project, and Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe (pictured above) says that WEC experience was beneficial to this season’s work.
“Everyone at Honda enjoyed working with Brendon throughout the year,” Tanabe said. “He was very strong on the engineering side, always giving very precise and useful feedback, based on his great experience working with hybrid power units and as a double world champion and Le Mans winner in LMP1.
“That feedback accelerated our development in terms of set-up work, which helped us progress over the course of the year. Thank you Brendon and we wish you all the very best for the future.”
Tanabe’s comments were echoed by Honda motorsports general manager Masashi Yamamoto, who picked out Hartley’s performance in qualifying at Suzuka as a highlight for the whole company.
“On behalf of Honda, I would like to express my thanks to Brendon for all his hard work this year,” Yamamoto said. “Brendon is always a friendly and charming person who immediately embraced Japanese culture and Honda’s way.
“It gave everyone at Honda so much power and confidence in what we were doing this year after several difficult seasons. I particularly remember when he qualified sixth at our home race in Suzuka. That meant a lot to Honda. We will miss him and wish him all the best for the future.”
Hartley finished 2018 with four points to his name, finishing tenth in Azerbaijan and Germany, while being promoted to ninth place by post-race disqualifications in the United States Grand Prix.
Posted 07 December 2018 - 17:06
His F1 adventure may be over for now, but Brendon Hartley says his motor racing career is still very much alive.
Having been given a second chance by Red Bull and Toro Rosso, the 29-year-old New Zealander has lost his seat after just a single full season.
"I've definitely been better," Hartley told Newstalk ZB.
He won the world endurance championship and Le Mans with Porsche, and Hartley said he maintained his relationship with the German outfit since entering F1.
"My phone has been glued to my ear over the last week, a lot of emails," said Hartley.
"Not the perfect time of year to be sorting out a drive, but I've got a good reputation and I'm just trying to figure out what the right steps are and also what's going to keep me happy.
"You will definitely see me doing something next year but it won't be formula one," he added.
Hartley says his situation is not all bad, as he enhanced his CV and "definitely didn't disgrace myself" in F1 this year.
As for F1's politics, though, Hartley is not impressed.
"I would love to tell the story one day," he said.
"The politics I don't enjoy. There were rumours very early in the season which was a big surprise to me when I thought I'd signed a long term contract.
"I feel under the circumstances other people could have potentially cracked and I actually came out much stronger because of it," Hartley added.
"What I will say is formula one is very complicated, there's a lot of money involved, politics and some of the reasons why drivers stay or leave isn't always in your control or purely for performance.
"In any case I left the paddock with my head held high. I knew I'd given it my best shot this year," he insisted.
Posted 30 January 2019 - 20:01
Brendon Hartley has opened up on his dismissal from Toro Rosso, saying he became aware his seat was under threat as early as last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Toro Rosso replaced Hartley after one season, going for a completely different driver line-up in 2019 following Pierre Gasly’s promotion to Red Bull. But Hartley says he found out he could be replaced as early as the sixth round of the season in Monaco, following rumors in the media.
“For me, it was tough, because when I look back now, what I will remember most about it is walking down to the paddock to meet with the media on the Wednesday before the weekend started, and receiving a bunch of questions about my future,” Hartley wrote in The Players Tribune.
“Here I am, a handful of races into my F1 career, and I’m being asked about the end.
“The worst part of that day, though, was finding out there was some truth to the rumors. After a few races, there were some people, it appeared, who didn’t want me there. I’ll be honest, this was a bit of a shock. After entering F1 with a wealth of experience, two World Endurance championships, a win at Le Mans, and out-qualifying my teammate two out of the first three races, it was hard for me to believe that there was talk of my being replaced so early.
“That’s life in F1, though. The sport has so much money and so many people involved, it’s only natural that there are politics. If you’re a fan you know it, and if you’re a driver, you live it.”
Despite that early speculation and knowing there were moves afoot to replace him, Hartley says the final news was only given to him after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Going into Abu Dhabi, I knew that no matter what happened after the race I would leave the circuit with my head held high.
“But, like the fans, I had no idea what was going to happen. That’s the thing about the politics in F1, it can be a little bit … awkward. Everyone sort of walks on eggshells, and there isn’t always clarity. So I just did all I could: my job. I out-qualified my teammate and drove to 12th on Sunday night.
“An hour later, I was summoned to a meeting … And a few minutes after that, I was no longer an F1 driver.
“In the meeting there wasn’t much said. It was clear to me then that from as far back as Monaco there was a plan in motion to move me on.
“That was it. What I thought didn’t matter.
“So, after I left [my wife] Sarah and my mates, I walked down to the garage and I told some of the guys that I wouldn’t be coming back. That was tough. These boys and girls had put so many hours of their life into the sport and the team and they don’t always get the praise they deserve, so often the focus goes towards the driver rather than the team overall. I was a proud member of Toro Rosso and Honda, and saying goodbye that day was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.”