Brendon Hartley felt small margins and tiny mistakes cost him dearly in Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, with the New Zealander finding himself eliminated at the first hurdle.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver will start the race down in seventeenth at the Marina Bay Street Circuit but was only two tenths away from team-mate Pierre Gasly who did make it through to Q2, with Hartley rueing some small mistakes he made in the middle sector that ultimately denied him the opportunity to get ahead of his team-mate.
“We had a tricky session this morning, but we made some changes and got the car in a better window for Qualifying,” said Hartley. “It was pretty close to Q2; I had some traffic in my first run, my second run was clean but I made a couple of small mistakes in the middle sector which cost me time.
“Pierre got me by a tenth and a half of a second, and that was the difference between getting knocked out in Q1 and progressing to Q2. It’s a tricky track, you only get one chance around here.”
Despite the relatively disappointing showing in Qualifying, Hartley hopes to make his strategy work on Sunday, so he can challenge for a points finish that would be a boost to him as the uncertainty over his future within the team continues.
“We were very good on tyres yesterday which was positive, so I remain hopeful we can make the strategy work and challenge for points in the race,” said the New Zealander.
“We were hoping for better pace this weekend, but let’s see what tomorrow brings.”