Formula 1

Toro Rosso “starting to unlock the car’s potential” says Hartley

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver Brendon Hartley says that the team are now unlocking the STR13‘s potential after they scored another points finish.

However it was not Hartley who had the honour of finishing in the top ten last weekend, but his team-mate Pierre Gasly who finished in seventh. The New Zealander was running in eleventh, chasing down Carlos Sainz Jr, before Charles Leclerc suffered a brake failure at the Nouvelle Chicane on lap 70, piling into the back of the Toro Rosso.

More encouragingly for the two-time World Endurance Champion, Hartley ran well in Free Practice – even registering the seventh fastest time in Saturday morning’s FP3 session. Gasly managed to qualify in the top ten, affirming Hartley’s idea that Toro Rosso are starting to uncover the car’s true performance.

“It had been a strong weekend,” Hartley told press. “Not really much to show for it unfortunately.”

He then went on to express optimism over Honda‘s first big upgrade of the season, coming in time for the Canadian Grand Prix next week. Whilst unsure on the exact figures, Hartley believes that the improvement will be a “sizeable step” for the team and Honda – who are starting to regain some of the positive reputation they lost in their maligned three-year partnership with the McLaren F1 Team.

“I’m still pretty positive for Montreal. We have an engine update coming, and we had a new floor here so we had some performance to put on the car,” he added. “It looks like the team is really starting to unlock the car’s potential.

“I don’t know the exact numbers [of the upgrade], I think it’s better you ask someone from Honda or Toro Rosso. But I think it’s meant to be a sizeable step.”

Toro Rosso currently lie seventh in the Constructors’ Championship on 19 points, seven away from the Sahara Force India F1 Team. The Faenza based squad drew level with the Haas F1 Team, who failed to score in another tricky weekend for them.

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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