Brendon Hartley said that it was ‘an uphill battle’ from the fifth corner of the Monaco Grand Prix, following a damaged front wing and a lack of downforce.
The New Zealander has been under increasing scrutiny of late, repeatedly being compared to on-form team-mate Pierre Gasly. This pressure only increased after qualifying too, when Hartley failed to make it out of the first qualifying session, whilst Gasly made it into the third. This meant Hartley needed a strong race to prove himself to the team.
Having started fifteenth Hartley picked up damage to his front wing on the first lap, though used good strategy to get into eleventh by the seventieth of the seventy-eight laps. Challenging tenth-placed Carlos Sainz Jr. he looked like a potential points finisher, until an out of control Charles Leclerc ploughed into the back of Hartley coming out of the tunnel, destroying his rear wing and his hopes at finishing the race.
Speaking after the race Hartley said that whilst it was ‘pretty frustrating’ to have had his race finished by someone else’s brake failure, he was happy with his driving during the race.
“It was a tough race starting from 15th,” said the New Zealander. “I had a pretty good start, but I damaged my front wing on the first lap at Turn 5 which was annoying.
“It was an uphill battle from there, the tyres quickly faded with lack of front downforce, but we held on and made a big effort to make the Ultrasofts last until the end.
“We pitted really early to make an undercut which was a good strategy, and towards the end of the race I was catching Carlos for P10, but then I got hit from behind by a Sauber.
“Charles and I spoke afterwards and he said he lost the brakes, it’s pretty frustrating, but that’s Monaco. We were strong all weekend apart from Q1, where we didn’t get it all together. I was happy with how I was driving today but ultimately it wasn’t meant to be.”