Brendon Hartley’s difficult start to his Formula 1 career continued on Friday at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace with a smoky exit to first practice, with more engine related issues affecting Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Hartley, who comes into the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend as a two-time champion in the FIA World Endurance Championship, saw his Renault power unit expire on him in the final sector of the Interlagos circuit, and he was forced to pull off the track on the approach to the start and finish straight.
The afternoon session was much more productive, with Hartley completing fifty-four laps and finishing seventeenth fastest, just behind team-mate Pierre Gasly, but he acknowledges starting the weekend on the back foot means they still have a lot of work to do to be competitive on Saturday.
“A tricky start to the day and the weekend… We missed FP1 because of an engine issue,” said Hartley. “In this afternoon’s FP2 it took me a couple of laps to get back up to speed after driving a different car for a few weekends in a row!
“In the end we were able to complete plenty of laps – I was the driver that did the most this session – and we made some good progress. We now still have some time to find for tomorrow and that’s what we will work on tonight.”