Brendon Hartley believes his Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team are “in the fight” at the Monaco Grand Prix.
This is the New Zealander’s first experience of driving a Formula One car round the Circuit de Monaco and admits it is a “special feeling”.
“It was a really positive day, it’s awesome to drive around Monaco for the first time in a Formula 1 car!
“It’s a special feeling around here, dancing from wall to wall.”
Both Hartley and Pierre Gasly were in the mix for the top ten with the New Zealander a couple of tenths quicker than his French team-mate and Hartley believes the goal has to be to reach Q3 on Saturday.
“In terms of performance, I think straight away we were in the top 10 on the Hypersoft.
“We finished the morning P12, but running on the harder compound tyre which looked positive.
“In the afternoon, I was 11th on the Hypersoft which is promising, it’s very close to the cars ahead and also the cars behind.
“We’re definitely in the fight, and the goal has to be Q3.
“It’s tricky here with traffic, you have to be clever with strategy in qualifying – and a bit lucky too!”
Toro Rosso brought updates to Monaco and Hartley is looking forward to seeing how far they can move up the grid with them.
“I’m happy to get the new updated aero parts that Pierre was running in the first two sessions.
“The team has done a good job to bring some updates here and all of the emphasis now goes into getting us as far up the grid as we can!”