Hartley Was Left Frustrated with Grid Penalties in 2017

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley says he was frustrated by the continuous grid penalties he received in all four of the races in competed in at the end of 2017 but sees it as part of the learning experience as he prepares himself for a better 2018.

Hartely’s car moved on to its ninth MGU-H unit at the last race of the year in Abu Dhabi with only four permitted for the entire season. It meant that at no point during his four race campaign could the Kiwi start a race from where he had qualified.

Despite his obvious frustration, Hartley remains positive that he’ll get his opportunity to shine in 2018 when Toro Rosso embark on a new relationship with engine supplier Honda.

“It is a little bit frustrating,” Hartley told crash.net. “I understand why the rules are there but especially in Mexico when I could have qualified pretty high up and had a real chance at scoring points, which was probably the most frustrating one.

“Now that it is announced that I am here for next year these four races are preparation for next year.”

The run of grid penalties at the end of 2017 meant that Hartley and team-mate Pierre Gasly were unable to score any points and lost out to the Renault Sport F1 Team in the fight for sixth in the constructors’ championship, resulting in a swing of around $7million, showing just how costly engine penalties can be.