Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver Brendon Hartley has said that for him the beginning of the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday “was a bit of a mess”.
This follows an incident on the first lap of the race when he made contact with Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon. The New Zealander was awarded a five-second penalty, causing him to finish in fourteenth, having actually finished twelfth on the road.
“I had a good start. It was a bit of a mess going into Turn four, a car pulled in front just before braking. I locked the brakes and flat spotted the Supersofts.”
Hartley said he was disappointed in receiving the five-second penalty, but thought he had driven a strong race otherwise.
“Unfortunately, we had to pit on lap one and after that I effectively did a one stop race from there. I think it was a solid race with really strong tyre management. I defended heavily against Ocon, so it’s a shame I got a five-second penalty when we made some contact.”
Hartley said that he was not as happy as he could have been, and felt that without the contact he sustained with Ocon and the resulting penalty, he could have finished much further up the field.
“Without the damage and the penalty from the contact I would have been tenth, and without the flat spot on lap one we had the pace to be even further up. The pace this weekend is very encouraging but the final outcome a little disappointing.”