Brendon Hartley believes the Brazilian Grand Prix was one of his best races in Formula 1, as he finished narrowly outside of the points-paying positions.
Hartley, who faces an uncertain future amid reports linking Alexander Albon with a 2019 seat, was eliminated in Q1 but rose to take 11th place.
It came after a terse radio communication amid confusion over team orders, with Pierre Gasly eventually allowing Hartley through, the pair having run different strategies.
“That was a really good race for me, it’s annoying you don’t get to score points as a reward, but there weren’t any retirements at the front to capitalise on,” he said.
“I started on the harder compound so it was a bit tricky for me during the first few laps, but still I had a strong start and made some good overtakes.
“To make our race work, I knew I would have to keep the tyres alive as long as possible on the first stint, I had great feedback from the pit wall and the strategy worked well.
“I felt this was one of the best performances of my F1 career but without the reward of points.
“The team will work hard over the next weeks to understand why we had such good race pace in Mexico, but struggled two weeks later in Brazil.”
Gasly started from ninth position but slipped backwards and eventually classified in 13th position.
“I had a good start and got to P8, but after that we clearly were suffering compared to our direct competitors,” he said.
“I tried to fight as much as I could but we clearly didn’t have the pace for points.
“We knew Brazil would be difficult, but after the performance we showed in Mexico we were a bit more optimistic, so in the end, we’re a bit disappointed with the way the race unfolded.”
Toro Rosso’s deficit to Sauber in the Constructors’ Championship grew to nine points in the wake of Charles Leclerc finishing seventh.