Brendon Hartley admitted his Australian Grand Prix was compromised early as he locked up his brakes at the first corner on lap one and was forced to make a pit stop due to the subsequent flat spots on his front tyres.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver had been confident of scoring points for the first time in his career but the early stop, and a further stop for a puncture, left him as the only driver to be lapped in the race, with the Kiwi ending fifteenth at the chequered flag.
Hartley had a lonely afternoon around the Albert Park circuit, thanks mainly to the tyre issues and some damage picked up at the rear of his STR13, and he admits points were always going to be a long shot as soon as the flat spots came.
“It wasn’t a great race for me today, I locked the brakes into Turn 1 at the start and flat-spotted the tyres, so I had no choice but to pit because it was probably the biggest flat spot I’ve ever had,” said Hartley.
“Then on the second stint I had a puncture, so it was game over from that point onwards and I think I had a little bit of damage on the rear from that, so I was driving around by myself all day.
“It was always going to be tough to get into the points today.”