Formula 1

Hartley confident of strong Mexican GP weekend after ‘positive’ Friday

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Brendon Hartley - Formula 1 - 2018 Mexican GP
Credit: Red Bull Content Pool (Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Brendon Hartley has said that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez “suits” his driving style after finishing inside the top ten in both Friday Free Practice sessions for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hartley took ninth and sixth in the respective sessions for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, while team-mate Pierre Gasly had a disrupted day due to an engine change in FP1. In the morning’s session, Hartley had a run in with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team car of Antonio Giovinazzi; accusing the Italian of running him off the circuit.

The New Zealander has taken victory in Mexico City before, winning the 6 Hours of Mexico City with the Porsche LMP1 Team in successive years in 2016 and ’17.

“It was a really positive Friday for us,” beamed Hartley. “To be in the top 10 in both sessions and to finish P6 this afternoon was great.”

“I enjoy coming to this track, I’ve raced here a few times before and it’s my second visit in a Formula 1 car. We did a lot of testing on the new aero kit. I really think it suits my driving style so today it felt like we started getting the car closer and closer to what I want.”

Hartley is currently on the brink of leaving Formula 1, with Red Bull lining up FIA Formula 2 series driver Alexander Albon as his replacement for 2019. Albon has been taken out of his contract with the Nissan e.dams squad for the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The news comes as Hartley experiences a upturn of form in an otherwise a testing first full season in Formula 1, out-qualifying Gasly at the Suzuka International Race Course earlier this month by recording a career best grid position of sixth.

“It’s great to come out punching after a few really good races for me, and I’m feeling good about the weekend so far.”

The 28-year-old also scored points at the United States Grand Prix last time out, promoted into the top ten by Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon‘s disqualifications.


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