Brendon Hartley was satisfied to make it through to Q2 during Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday, even if he then went on to use the session purely to practice his starts!
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver only just made it through the first segment of Qualifying on Saturday afternoon at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, finishing just 0.053 seconds ahead of Pascal Wehrlein, and 0.061 seconds ahead of his team-mate Pierre Gasly.
Hartley admitted that his starts have let him down in his two previous Grand Prix in the United States and Mexico, and it was decided that with an engine-change grid penalty and the a fairly remote chance of getting through to Q3, to practice his getaways was the better idea.
“Not a bad day,” said Hartley. “I’m pretty happy to have got through to Q2 today!
“We then didn’t go out to set a time in Q2 in order to save all the tyres and keep all the options available for tomorrow’s race, so we just used the session to do a couple of practice starts – something I needed considering my first two starts in F1, which haven’t been the best… Hopefully this pays dividends tomorrow!”
Hartley, who looks set to start eighteenth on the grid thanks to his third grid penalty in as many Grand Prix says that his pre-weekend aim of scoring his first points in Formula 1 is going to be tough, but he will be pushing to move forward on Sunday.
“It’s going to be quite a tough ask to finish in the points, but we’re definitely going to try, do our best and push for that,” said Hartley.
“I’m really looking forward to the race!”