Singapore Grand Prix – Whilst adamant that he’s made improvements over the course of the season, Brendon Hartley has conceded that he hasn’t scored enough points in 2018.
The Toro Rosso driver has so far failed to match the headline-making results of his team-mate Pierre Gasly in 2018, having been outscored by twenty-eight points to two.
The contrast between them has resulted in Gasly being promoted to the Red Bull team to replace the departing Daniel Ricciardo, whilst Hartley is facing a battle to keep his seat for next season.
When asked about his ongoing performances in 2018, Hartley admitted that whilst he’s pleased with his improvements, he needs to score more points.
“I think I’ve been improving all year, and I haven’t really had a discussion [with Toro Rosso] about an exact result.
“It’s clear I haven’t finished in the points enough times when you compare with my team-mate. Some of that was out of my control, some of it was part of my control.
“Like I said before I’m just focused one race at a time on doing my job and I’m very confident of the job I do behind the scenes and also I know that I’ve been improving all season.
“Everyone can see that I’ve been strong in certain scenarios, but I haven’t been able to capitalise so I think if you’re referring to what he’s [Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko] saying, probably I need some more results in the points.”
The New Zealander added that he believes the Singapore Grand Prix is a big opportunity for the Toro Rosso team to claim points.
“I’m just focused on Singapore this weekend, it’s a big opportunity for us at Toro Rosso. Historically the team’s done very well here. Last year they took fourth place with Carlos in some tricky conditions but if we take the last two races, we think this would be a strong opportunity for us.”
With Toro Rosso looking unlikely to have drivers with sufficient points to qualify for a Formula One super license, the Italian team may have to look outside of their own academy for drivers.
Given the lack of options, as well as Gasly moving on to Red Bull, a strong end-of-season run from Hartley may be enough to save his seat.