Formula 1

Hartley Feels ‘More Pressure’ but says it is an ‘Absolute Pleasure’ to Race in Formula 1

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Brendon Hartley - Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Brendon Hartley admits there is more external pressure on him in Formula 1 than there ever was during his sportscar days in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and he needs to remind himself that he is enjoying the experience of racing in the premiere single-seater category in the world.

The New Zealander is a two-time champion in the World Endurance Championship and was also victorious in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Porsche LMP1 Team but made the full-time switch to Formula 1 this year after four outings at the back end of last season.

Now the Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver is under pressure to perform at every race but insists that he still loves racing in Formula 1, and the pressure is no different to what any other professional sportsperson feels.

“There’s a little bit more media on a week-to-week basis in Formula 1, so you feel like there’s a few more eyes on you,” said Hartley to  “In some ways, it can feel like maybe more pressure in Formula 1 because you’re one driver rather than three.

“I’m enjoying it. I do have to remind myself why I’m doing it and why I’m enjoying it, [because] there’s a lot of pressure involved.  It’s very easy to get caught up in all the pressures that are involved in Formula 1 and to lose sight in the absolute pleasure and why we are all here.

“I think that’s no different to any other sport when it becomes truly professional.”

Hartley admits that the results have not been what he was hoping for across the opening six races of the season but he feels missing out on points in the Bahrain Grand Prix – where team-mate Pierre Gasly scored an excellent fourth place – is his biggest frustration so far.

“I know you could argue it wasn’t the best start for me,” said Hartley.  “But actually when I look back on the first three races, two of the first three I outqualified my team-mate.  I’m really disappointed that in Bahrain I didn’t capitalise when we had such a strong car.

“It’s a constant learning process. There are moving targets in Formula 1 that are changing from a week-to-week basis, and constant updates.”

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Long time motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1 and the occassional other series. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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