Brendon Hartley is hoping to use his experience of the Shanghai International Circuit in the FIA World Endurance Championship to have a positive Chinese Grand Prix this weekend as he bids to secure his first top ten finish of his Formula 1 career.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda ace won twice during his time with the Porsche LMP1 Team in the World Endurance Championship, but fifteenth and seventeenth place finishes in the first two races of his first full Formula 1 season are not the results the New Zealander was hoping for.
Hartley expects tyre management to play a key part in the race this weekend, and he aims to emulate team-mate Pierre Gasly in becoming Formula 1’s latest new points scorer in China, particularly with the much-improved Honda-powered STR13 at his disposal.
“I have driven at the Chinese track a few times in the World Endurance Championship and we had quite a bit of success there in LMP1, with two wins and a second place and that’s always good for your confidence,” said Hartley. “The WEC races here lasted 6 Hours, but split between three drivers that makes 2 hours each, so not that much different to an F1 race.
“I quite like the track, it’s very technical and very hard on tyres with such a long Turn 1 – where I think there’s 10 different options and lines, and there’s always some crazy passes on the inside, which is good for the driver and fun for the fans.
“Also entering the back straight, there’s a really long right hander which is really hard on the front left tyre, so I think tyre management will be a bit of a discussion in China.”