Brendon Hartley leaves Formula 1 with a disappointing record which shows that in his 28 Grand Prix starts for Toro Rosso he scored four points, while teammate Pierre Gasly amassed 29 points in the same period, enough said.
As a result, Pierre Gasly got a promotion to the Red Bull senior team alongside Max Verstappen, while the junior outfit opted to give prodigal son Daniil Kvyat a second shot while taking on impressive Formula 2 graduate Alexander Albon.
The reality is Hartley underperformed at a time when he needed to seize the moment and maximise his fairytale opportunity with Toro Rosso for a second time, to prove he is Formula 1 material. This did not happen and his tale of woe has been well reported and evident to anyone who follows the sport.
The likeable New Zealander, who won the hearts of many during his stint in the top flight, said in a statement after his final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, “I left the circuit on Sunday with my head held high.”
Brendon: I still have plenty more pages to write in my story
“I’m very proud of my story and journey so far but am left feeling I have unfinished business in F1. For the moment that has been put on hold.”
“I’ve hit speed bumps before and I am a strong believer that tough situations make you stronger, it also helps that I have a great NZ support crew, family, friends and wife.”
“I also want to thank my trainer Rich and almost all of the 500 strong Toro Rosso staff who I have stood beside and have enjoyed working with this season, all of the engineering team, the mechanics, marketing, PR, logistics, hospitality crew, factory staff and of course all at Honda Racing.”
“I really do appreciate the support I have received from fans across the globe this year, I still have plenty more pages to write in my story and I will make the most of the opportunity’s in the next chapter.”
Hartley pointed out that he still has a valid contract to race for Toro Rosso next year and had, therefore, made no alternative plans. Prior to his Formula 1 return, Hartley – a double WEC World Champion – was set to move to IndyCars, which may well be an option for him in 2019.
Big Question: Does Brendon have unfinished business in Formula 1?