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Marko, Hartley

Marko: Unbelievable Hartley stories going around

Marko, Hartley

Red Bull driver chief Helmut Marko has rubbished reports that Brendon Hartley’s position in the Toro Rosso team is at risk in the wake of massive first lap shunt on the opening lap of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Even prior to his Montreal mishap there was the ‘Lando Norris report’ which emerged as the New Zealander, a double WEC champion and Le Mans winner, struggled to find his feet in his first full Formula 1 season relative to his rookie teammate Pierre Gasly who has 18 points to Hartley’s one.

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Marko said in the wake of the incident in Canada, “It was, I would say, a racing accident, and has nothing to do about his future. He will be in the car.”

“All the people who say they want to race for Toro Rosso, or they want to put an offer that we didn’t know about. Unbelievable stories going around,” added Marko.

Prior to the shunt at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hartley was enjoying an improved weekend where he was quicker than Gasly throughout practice and then outqualified the Frenchman.

Hartley was the quicker Toro Rosso driver through practice and said after qualifying 12th that he was keen to complete a clean weekend and fight for points.

Hartley, who was released from hospital with a clean bill of health the evening of the race, lamented, “I’m really disappointed for Toro Rosso and Honda because we’ve been quite strong all weekend with a good update from the power unit. I think we definitely had the pace to challenge for points.”

As for the incident, Hartley said, “I had a good start, similar to the drivers around me, but I got left a bit on the outside of Turn 2 which lost me a position.”

“I got a good run on Lance out of Turn 4 on the outside, but he lost the car which put us both into the wall. It’s very disappointing as there was room to make the overtake, and I was looking forward to a strong race.”

“It’s a frustrating way to end as I’ve been really happy with my performance all weekend,” added Hartley.

Big Question: Does Brendon deserve more time?