Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley has crashed out of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix on the opening lap after being squeezed into the barriers while attempting to overtake Williams F1 driver Lance Stroll. While the incident will be investigated after race completion, it appears that Hartley’s overtaking attempt may have been impatient, while Stroll appeared to correct his under-steering car that in turn push Hartley into the barrier. More to follow…..
Brendon Hartley has hit back at the rumours circulating with a solid qualifying performance for the Canadian F1 Grand Prix. Hartley went quicker than team mate Pierre Gasly moving into Q2 and will start from 12th on the grid.
“I was really happy with the job I did today, and how we’ve worked as a team throughout the weekend to get the car in the right place,” commented Hartley. “I think 12th was more or less where we’ve been this weekend, there was probably another tenth in the car on that last lap, but to move much further up the grid and into Q3 was a bit of a tall order today.
“I’ve really enjoyed driving the track here, it’s got a lot of character, bumps, kerbs, you’re close to the walls. I felt strong all weekend in Monaco as well but Q1 was a bit of a mess and we missed Q2, so it was nice to get a better result in Montreal. I’m quite optimistic for tomorrow!
“The upgrade performance in qualifying was good, and we think the bigger step is in the race trim which is where we have been struggling recently. Hopefully we can battle it out and try to muscle our way into the top 10 – everything has been really positive so far and we’ve seen races in the past here where a lot can happen, so I’ll keep focussed and do my best to bring home some points.”
During the week leading up to Canada there has been speculation that Hartley would be replaced at his Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team due to his perceived average performance this season.
However, the Toro Rosso team were complimentary of Hartleys qualifying performance.
“Although Brendon missed the cut to Q3 by a small margin, we can look forward to a strong race from 12th on the grid,” commented Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director). “Towards the end of this morning’s free practice, Pierre’s engine showed a drop in power. As a precaution, we decided to change the entire unit. The PU that Pierre had for qualifying was an older unit that therefore did not have the updates we have introduced at this race. As Pierre had used this PU before, this change does not incur any penalties. We will now examine everything closely to identify the cause of the problem. Well done to the Honda and Toro Rosso mechanics, who did a great job to change the unit and get Pierre out in time for Q1. In the circumstances, it was understandable that he was unable to get to Q2.”
“Following on from a productive day yesterday, the engineers worked hard overnight analysing the required setup changes for today, and I think it’s fair to say these have resulted in an improved car balance,” said Jody Egginton (Deputy Technical Director). “The main focus in today’s sessions was to work on out lap preparation for tyres, and fine tune brake balance, differential, and the various power unit related parameters as the baseline setting both sides of the garage was where it needed to be. Both drivers’ comments highlighted some further need to fine tune front tyre preparation for the single timed lap, but beyond this the car was in the right ballpark.
“Unfortunately, right at the end of the session, we identified an issue on Pierre’s power unit, so to avoid any unnecessary risk we reverted to a previous unit on his car for qualifying. The guys from Honda and from our side did a fantastic job in changing the power unit in time for qualifying, as such there was minimal impact to the normal qualifying preparations. The planned qualifying program centred around a push, cool, push approach, but It’s a fairly short lap around here with typically traffic management required especially in Q1.
“Unfortunately, the first lap of the first run for Brendan was slightly compromised, but his second push lap was traffic free as was his second run. Pierre’s first run suffered from a bit too much understeer early in the lap, but better for his second push lap meaning we were looking to make Q2 with both cars at this point.
“However, Pierre was called to the weigh bridge after his first run, and the time he spent there meant we were under some pressure to get his car turned around for the second run. The push-cool-push, plan was looking like being incredibly tight and unfortunately we have not managed to achieve this, meaning he only had a single lap to set a time.
“This was not the optimal approach for the tyres and we weren’t able to progress to Q2 with him. I’m disappointed for Pierre, as he has not had the maximum opportunity to get the most out of the car today. However, I am pleased to see Brendon have a smooth qualifying putting in a couple of strong laps to qualify 12th, so all in all mixed emotions as we had the potential for a bit more. Our thoughts now turn to the race tomorrow, and the preparation tonight to see how best we can use our tyres and try and move our drivers forward in the race, making best use of any opportunities which present themselves.”