As he faces the possible end of his brief Formula 1 career, Brendon Hartley has been more vocal as he feels the need to “defend” himself.
The New Zealander reportedly has two grands prix remaining in his Formula 1 career after which he will be replaced at Toro Rosso by Formula 2 racer Alex Albon.
According to reports Hartley was informed of his axing at the Mexican Grand Prix, however, it is not known whether that was before or after he hit out at Toro Rosso’s claims that Pierre Gasly had driven a damaged car at the previous race in Austin.
While Hartley raced from 14th on the grid to ninth in the United States GP, Gasly could only manage P12 despite starting ahead of his team-mate.
Asked in Mexico about being more outspoken in recent weeks, Hartley told Autosport: “Well I have to keep answering questions about my immediate future.
“I guess I’ve realised I also have to defend myself a little bit.
“It just felt like I had to stand up for myself sometimes and fight for my cause which I am doing.
“I know that I’ve done a really good job these last races and I’m feeling in a really good place.”
The 28-year-old added that he is refusing to listen to constant rumours about his future.
“I’m here now, I feel very comfortable in the environment and I’m doing a good job but it hasn’t always fallen my way,” he said.
“I’ve concentrated on my own performance despite everything going on and I know in myself I’m in a really good place and I know the job that I’m doing.”