Brendon Hartley says his mechanics did “an amazing job” to repair his car in time for the Spanish Grand Prix, where he went on to finish twelfth.
Hartley lost control of his STR13 at turn nine in the third free practice session on Saturday, ploughing backwards into the barriers and causing an incredible amount of damage – a situation that was made worse when the car split in two as it was hoisted away from the track.
Whilst the New Zealander missed qualifying due to the damage, the team were able to complete the extensive repairs in time for the race and get him on the grid.
Speaking on the repair work, Hartley says the team actually finished the car the night before, meaning there was less to do on race day.
“I had a clean start and made up a few positions on the first lap. The mechanics did an amazing job to get the car ready for today – it was actually finished last night – we just had to do the car setup this morning.”
Commenting on his race, Hartley said the team used the first safety car – caused when Romain Grosjean ran off the track, then speared back on and took out Nico Hülkenberg and Hartley’s team-mate Pierre Gasly – to pit onto the hardest tyre available, and turn the race into a one-stop. This, he says, worked out, though did make the race more difficult.
“We decided to pit under the first safety car and go straight on to the medium to effectively do a one-stop. It worked, but it meant we lost a lot a couple of positions in the beginning.
“It was difficult to overtake today, I think some of the cars around us had a bit more top speed which made life difficult.
“I had a good overtake on Marcus at the end to get 12th and if I had made the overtake a little bit earlier there would have been the chance for 11th as well, because the pace was definitely there at the end of the race.”