Brendon Hartley secured his first finish in Formula 1 to date in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday as he claimed two points for ninth position, although he did need the disqualifications of two drivers ahead of him to achieve it.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda has found points finishes hard to get in his first full season in Formula 1 and had only scored two points in the Azerbaijan and German Grand Prix ahead of the trip to the Circuit of the Americas, the venue that he made his debut in the sport twelve months ago.
Hartley had started last on Sunday after yet another Honda power unit change but drove strongly throughout to finish eleventh, well clear of team-mate Pierre Gasly, but when both Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen were disqualified from eighth and ninth respectively for illegal fuel usages, the New Zealander moved up to ninth to secure two points, which he felt were a reward for some strong driving in recent races.
“Really happy with my performance and race today which was rewarded with two points,” said Hartley. “I was aggressive when I needed to be and did a good job with tyres, the team gave me good info from the pits and the mechanics did a good pit stop – a team effort!
“From last on the grid to P9 was the max we could do today, and I’m happy with the aggression I showed and how the race went. Even if the points haven’t come, I have been very strong in all the last races and am very motivated and optimistic for the rest of the season and beyond.”