Motorsport Week  |    |   0  |  6 December 2017

Brendon Hartley: Greater maturity helped to deal with busy schedule

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley says his greater maturity and experience aided him in dealing with his rigorous schedule during the second half of 2017.

Hartley, having been drafted in to compete for Toro Rosso, participated in eight events across eight weekends, encompassing IMSA, Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship.

Hartley, 28, reckons his experience in various categories across several years helped, and also praised Toro Rosso for “not overloading” him with information.

“Probably eight nine years ago I wouldn’t have been able to deal with that, the pressure involved, all the different stresses, managing all the things,” Hartley said.

“But I’m pretty happy with how I dealt with it, a couple of times I felt very tired and a little bit flat.

“During the last three [races] not having to cross so many time zones I felt more on top of it.

“The team has been great in terms of not overloading me when they didn’t need to and trying to keep things reasonably simple.”

Hartley will remain with Toro Rosso into 2018, when the squad switches to Honda, for his first full campaign in the sport.

Hartley expressed his enthusiasm over his full-time seat, coming eight years after he was initially dropped by Red Bull’s junior scheme.

“The first race in Austin was a massive moment in my career to make my Formula 1 debut,” he said.

“I knew I needed to not do anything stupid and take it step by step which I did.

“Now to be signed off as a full-season F1 driver was a huge weight off the shoulders.

“I’m proud, optimistic, and I have the belief I can do it but I’m very aware I have a lot of hard work and [I have] all the respect for the other drivers, as they are obviously very good and working hard.

“I’m aware of the challenge ahead but I’m excited and optimistic about it.”

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