Hartley: Pitting early ‘didn’t work out for us’

Date published: July 30 2018

Brendon Hartley missed out on points on Sunday

Brendon Hartley feels that he missed out on points at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix because of a strategy error.

The Kiwi had been running inside the top ten in his Toro Rosso, but he pitted early, a move which saw him finish down in P11.

He was over-cut by both Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen, who ran longer into the race on their first stints, and were able to come out of the pits ahead of him.

The New Zealander said that he was disappointed with his finishing spot, saying that points were possible at the Hungaroring.

“I am disappointed with 11th place. Definitely points were possible today and that’s what is annoying,” Hartley said.

“To drop out of the points so early in the race from that early pit stop, it’s disappointing.”

The Kiwi was running as high as P9 before he came in for his one and only stop during the race, when he came in to cover off Nico Hulkenberg.

“Then we pitted very early for the Mediums. I haven’t talked to the team about the exact strategy but what is clear is that it didn’t work out for us,” he continued.

“I haven’t seen all the details on how it played out but we lost a lot of places on that strategy and that’s how it goes sometimes.

“I think what triggered the early stop was Hulkenberg pitting behind me.”

Hartley believes that he could have gone much further into the race on the set of tyres he started with, and that when he came out, the blue flags cost him time as well.

“The race could have been much longer. I saw we put new tyres on when we boxed but then going on to the harder compound tyre, which was much slower very early on,” the Kiwi added.

“That meant that the people that stayed out on the softer compound were quicker and I got the blue flags so it was a double negative.”

All this came despite the Toro Rosso driver getting a good start, where he almost got into the top six down into Turn 1.

“I had a really good start and got my nose inside Pierre’s car going into Turn 1,” he added.

“Obviously I had to get out of it, as he braked pretty early and that worked really well for him.”

It seems that every place Hartley lost was in the pits, and on strategy calls on Sunday, but because team-mate Pierre Gasly was running higher, maybe he got the best of Toro Rosso’s strategy book…?

“I actually didn’t get overtaken once on track and I had some pretty good battles out there but it was all lost on strategy,” he admitted.

“OK we had to split the strategy between the two cars but I was the one who got off worse today.”

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