ON AIR: The Country

12PM - 1PM

Hartley close to securing 2018 full-time drive

Author
Charlie Bristow, NZ Herald Staff,
Publish Date
Tue, 24 Oct 2017, 9:48AM

Hartley close to securing 2018 full-time drive

Author
Charlie Bristow, NZ Herald Staff,
Publish Date
Tue, 24 Oct 2017, 9:48AM

Brendon Hartley may be close to passing Daniil Kvyat in the pecking order at Toro Rosso.

Toro Rosso have confirmed that Hartley, who finished 13th in Austin, will race in this weekend's Mexico Grand Prix.

It's widely speculated that Hartley and Kvyat are vying for Toro Rosso's remaining seat for next season, after the Russian has won just five points all year.

His Russian teammate Daniil Kvyat however has lost his seat for the next round, being replaced by Pierre Gasly.

Gasly was the driver Hartley replaced in the US GP after the event clashed with a Super Formula race at Suzuka.

New Zealand motorsport historian Michael Clark says despite finishing behind Kvyat in Texas, Hartley probably outshone him.

"You're always measured against, first  and foremost, your teammate because they're the person who has the identical piece of equipment that you've got.

"Kyvat's been in that car for four years, and Brendon's fastest lap time in the race was a second quicker than Kyvat.

"There's no sentiment in Formula 1. They haven't given him another go next weekend because they thought he was a nice guy; they will be seeing this an oppotunity for 2018."

Starting on the back row in Texas, Hartley showed good speed, particularly late in the race, and rewarded the Toro Rosso team with a good performance given his lack of time at this level.

Hartley made a conservative start from 19th and went through the first corner in 20th place but he managed to jump Sauber's Pascal Werhlein on the opening lap and took advantage of Kevin Magnussen running wide in his Haas to be 18th by lap two.

He made an early pit stop and committed to the two-stop strategy which might not have been the better call by his team. The 27-year-old backed up what we saw in practice by impressing on long runs and managing his tyres well.

He went by Magnussen again late in the race after the Dane had clashed with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson. Hartley then managed to sneak by the Swede and Haas driver Romain Grosjean before the end of the race as well to secure an impressive 13th.

ON AIR: The Country

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