Brendon Hartley believes he is doing what has been asked of him if he wants to keep his Toro Rosso seat for 2019.
Hartley has been told by Toro Rosso that, in order to stay with the Red Bull junior team for a second year, he must start beating his team-mate Pierre Gasly, whose performances this season have led to a move to Red Bull next year.
Starting from the back of the grid in Austin, due to engine and gearbox penalties, the New Zealander battled valiantly to P11 before the disqualifications of Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen boosted him into P9 – his best finish of the season.
With Gasly finishing P12, Hartley says that his USA result is a continuation of his good form against his team-mate.
High fuel, cold tyres, turbulence, dirty track and 20 F1 drivers wanting to make up places always makes things interesting on lap 1 👀 . Other than floor damage from debris on lap 2 I got through pretty cleanly. Cheers Austin, you are always good fun. On to Mexico 🥊 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/vg4meUEa7l
— Brendon Hartley (@BrendonHartley) October 22, 2018
“It was a good one. I feel like I’ve been performing well in the last events.” Hartley said.
“Obviously every weekend I am answering questions about my future or reading about it or read in the press I need to beat my teammate.
“But in fact Singapore, I was ahead in the race before I had team orders and I was boxed again.
“I was ahead in Russia before the car broke, I was ahead in qualifying in Suzuka and I was ahead again today.
“So, let’s see what happens.”
Hartley then added to Motorsport.com: “It’s obviously been annoying to answer questions about my future all the time, I’ve said it a few times already.
“I feel like I’m doing the job and deserve to stay here.”
Hartley has three more races to continue to prove his worth, but Toro Rosso are actively pursuing Alexander Albon and are currently in negotiations with Nissan to release him from his Formula E contract.