Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

F1 cornering performance is “mind-blowing” – Hartley

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Brendon Hartley described the cornering abilities of the current generation of Formula One cars is “mind-blowing” compared to what he had experienced before.

The 27-year-old won the World Endurance Championship last weekend and raced his LMP1 Porsche at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year before making his F1 debut at the track. But he said he was amazed by the performance of his Toro Rosso on the same circuit.

“A big shock was high-speed [corners] just in terms of driving the car, it was quite amazing,” he said during today’s FIA press conference in Brazil.

“These modern Formula One cars, how quick they are in the first sector, that was pretty mind-blowing. It took some time to get confidence. For the drivers driving week in and week out you always want more grip, you always want more power, but coming straight in was quite a shock to the system.”

Hartley’s quickest lap during the F1 weekend was almost eight seconds quicker than the best time set by his Porsche 919 in the WEC round at the track. However he said there were no other big surprises in his switch between the two categories.

“Other than that there was no huge surprises in terms of difficulties. I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew putting together a Formula One weekend is tough. I know the level of driver and teams is the highest you can find.”

Hartley is in the middle of seven consecutive weekends of racing in the WEC and F1 which began at Fuji on October 15th. He will drive in next weekend’s WEC’s season finale in Bahrain before returning for the last grand prix of the year in Abu Dhabi the weekend after.

He said he is aiming for his first top ten finish at Interlagos on Sunday.

“This weekend I have a firm goal of scoring my first point in Formula One,” he said. “That would be celebrated.”

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “F1 cornering performance is “mind-blowing” – Hartley”

    1. Mind blowing DNF! Forza Hartley! Don’t forget to pad your rear end when you’ll be kicked out of “friendly” Red Bull family!

      1. I really don’t get those kind of remarks about Red Bull. There’s no entity that has brought more men to F1 than Red Bull. They operate two teams at the highest level of motorsport with the very clear idea that if you do good in junior series you’ll be among the lucky to drive for STR and if you do good again you’ll get to drive for a team with a very good pedigree, likely on you way to win grand prix races.

        Next year we’ll have 2 STR drivers, 2 Red Bull drivers and 2 ex-Red Bull drivers (Vettel & Sainz), that’s a whopping 30% of all drivers, among which 3 GP winners.

        Yes they are harsh but at least they give talent a chance, and if you’re not good enough you shouldn’t be in F1, a method all teams use. Nobody is blaming Renault for dropping Palmer, or Sauber for dropping Kamui, or McLaren for dropping Magnussen, or Sauber for dropping Nasr, or Lotus for dropping Maldonado, or Haas for dropping Guttierez, or Sauber for dropping Sutil, or Force India for dropping Di Resta, ….

        1. @flatsix Completely agree, RB have done a lot for the sport. It’s interesting that they get a bad rap while other teams more readily discard their drivers without criticism. I suspect that fans still have a hard time with a ‘drinks company’ beating pedigree racing teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes and look for any fault they can find to rationalise it to themselves. I’m a fan of every team for being able to make a team work – so many have failed. I have a lot of respect for RBR for the opportunities they give drivers. If Hartley performs and develops a good relationship with the team, he will keep his place. With such a big family, talent alone isn’t enough. Teams are bigger than drivers and I think requiring drivers to fit into the culture each team has is very reasonable. Best of luck Brendon!

          1. @antznz I doubt the criticism for Red Bull is based on their status as a ‘drinks company’. It’s because statistically, they have probably discarded more drivers than most of the other teams on the grid in the last few years (Bourdais, Alguersuari, Buemi, Vergne and Kvyat), thus getting branded with the “ruthless” tag. One could argue that based on the current crop of F1 drivers, at least two of them were good enough to still be competing there today. Also, their treatment of their drivers (Kvyat, for example) has also been questionable at times.

            However, as FlatSix pointed out, Red Bull also DO bring a lot more talented drivers to the sport than other teams. Why is it that every new Toro Rosso driver shows promise right from the beginning? Red Bull want the best of the best to drive for the team, and I find it very interesting that they manage to find and recruit very talented drivers time and again.

            1. @neutronstar from memory all of those drivers were backed for 2-3 season each (correct me if I’m wrong). Compare with McLaren who discarded Kevin and Sergio after 1 year each, yet there isn’t the same critique. I expect Pascal will be dropped by Mercedes and give preference to Ocon. Valetti as well after next season. Wait and see if comments are as hard on Mercedes as they are on Red Bull. I don’t expect they will be.

            2. @antznz You’re right about McLaren, but Perez and Magnussen are still competing in F1. The drivers Red Bull discard are just…gone. No team shows interest in picking them up. Vergne seemed to be quite a capable driver and Alguersuari (F1 career cut short at 21) was on an upward curve when they were discarded. Perez was being considered fairly average after being dropped by McLaren, but his time at Force India showed that there was more to him i.e. he got a chance to show his talents, which the discarded Red Bull drivers never get.

              Not sure whether it’s Red Bull’s fault in some way (maybe how they treat the drivers they’re not satisfied with), or it is because they always recruit drivers based on talent alone i.e. those drivers lack sponsors which hurts them after being fired from Red Bull, but regardless, the fact remains that the drivers (even the decent ones) kicked out of the Red Bull stable have never managed to find another home in F1 again, yet. This brings Red Bull under the spotlight, and that’s why they get criticized.

            3. @antznz Edit: – Perez got another chance to prove his talent

      2. I believe someone didn’t liked the way a certain russian driver was treated.

    2. I hope racing in the two different series simultaneously doesn’t hinder his preparations.

    3. You just wait till they allow you to turn the engine mode up if it suits Renault

      WWF1

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