Brendon Hartley was delighted to see his Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team score their first points of the season with Pierre Gasly, but for the New Zealander, his own race was ruined by a first lap tangle with Sergio Perez that left him floundering outside the points.
Hartley had started eleventh on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix, by far his best Qualifying performance of his short Formula 1 career, but a clash with Sahara Force India F1 Team racer Perez at turn four on lap one earned him a ten-second penalty, which when he took it dropped him out of points scoring contention.
Without the penalty, the Kiwi feels a points finish was on the cards, but the consolation going forward for Hartley is that the progress made with the performance of the STR13 bodes well for the forthcoming races.
“An amazing day for Toro Rosso but a disappointing day for me,” admitted Hartley. “I had a good start and first couple of corners but had a small contact with Perez in Turn 4.
“This not only damaged my front wing for the remainder of the race but I was also given a 10 second time penalty. We had the pace to be comfortably in the points without the penalty so it was a bit frustrating.
“A big thanks to all at Toro Rosso and at Honda, it has been an amazing turn around since Melbourne which bodes well for the next few races.”
Another penalty post-race for a formation lap offence saw Hartley ultimately classified seventeenth and that, coupled with the first lap clash with Perez, earned him a total of four penalty points on his Superlicence, two each for each offence.