Hartley on Toro Rosso exit: "I thought I’d signed a long-term contract"

06-12-2018 10:17
by Louis Shaw
Hartley on Toro Rosso exit: I thought I’d signed a long-term contract

Brendon Hartley has revealed that he would "love to tell the story" about why he parted ways with Toro Rosso. 

Hartley had been racing for Toro Rosso for all of 2018 and had signed for the team in 2017. The Kiwi had said that he had a long-term contract with the team but less than 24 hours after last season concluded in Abu Dhabi, Toro Rosso announced that Alexander Albon would be racing for the team. 

“I mean there were rumours very early in the season which was a big surprise to me when I thought I’d signed a long-term contract," Hartley said to New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB. 

“I came off the back of a World Championship and a Le Mans win and after just 2-3 races there were rumours and lot of questions being asked about my immediate future.

“I’m happy with how I handled that. I feel under the circumstances other people could have potentially cracked and I actually came out much stronger because of it."

Hartley picked up 4 points whereas Red Bull-bound Pierre Gasly scored 29.  

“I fought, I evolved through the season, there were articles in the press saying ‘look he needs to improve, beat his team-mate’ and at the end of the season I felt on top of my game, built great relationships with Honda, the staff at Toro Rosso, and was consistently out-performing my team-mate."

“What I will say is F1 is very complicated, there’s a lot of money involved, politics, and some of the reasons drivers stay or leave isn't always in your control or for reasons of pure performance.

“In any case, I left the paddock with my head held high."

Hartley admitted that “I would love to tell the story one day. Probably not everything I can disclose to be perfectly honest."

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