Friday, Sep 14 07:37pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Brendon Hartley backs himself to secure Formula 1 seat in 2019

Incumbent Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley says strong results will help him secure his seat on Formula 1 grid in 2019.  


During Thursday’s Singapore Grand Prix press conference Hartley confirmed he isn’t currently having discussions about his future with the team.


“We’re not really chatting at the moment,” Hartley said.


“I have a contract going forward, obviously there are always options and what not.”


Recent speculation from several European-based news outlets have suggested as many as 10 drivers are in line for the two Toro Rosso seats next year.


Hartley is one of those as well as Red Bull Racing reserve driver Sébastien Buemi of Switzerland and outcasted Russian pilot Daniil Kvyat.


Hartley admitted that while on paper his results haven’t looked strong and he hasn’t had many points to his name, he believes he’s getting stronger with every race.


“I’ve been saying it for a while that the best thing I can do is just focus one race at a time and be doing the best job that I can. I know and I’m very confident of the job I’ve been doing behind the scenes with the team.


“I know that I’ve got stronger every race during the season, and the results don’t exactly show that, but I know that I am strong and have been strong in the last five races and there have been a few circumstances which meant I wasn’t able to score points.


“I seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of the time, but I’m also looking at myself and what I can do better there. Honestly I’m just focusing on every race one race at a time and hope that I’m on the grid next year, which is my goal.”


When asked about the other drivers that were in the mix for the seat and that Hartley would have to meet a results threshold, the 28-year-old reiterated his initial thoughts.


“I’ve been improving all year and I haven’t had a direct discussion about an exact result.


“It’s clear I haven’t finished in the points enough times when you compare with my teammate [Pierre Gasly]. Some of that was out of my control, some of it part of my control.”


“Everyone can see that I’ve been strong in certain scenarios, but I haven’t been able to capitalize. I think if you what you’re referring to what he’s saying – I haven’t been following the press – but probably I need some more results in the points.


“I’m here to try and create as much luck for myself.”


This weekend the 20-car Formula 1 field races at the Singapore Grand Prix in what is the event’s 11th year on the calendar.


For Hartley it’s a prime opportunity to maximize the strong suit of his STR13, which is high downforce style circuits.


Hartley showed pace in Monaco and in Hungary, both nearly bringing the Kiwi some much needed points.


“It’s a big opportunity for us this weekend at Toro Rosso. Historically the team has done very well here, last year the team took fourth with Carlos [Sainz] in some tricky conditions.”