It took them long enough, or perhaps spurred on by Honda, Toro Rosso have come out and thanked Brendon Hartley for his services for the team after they ditched him in favour of Alexander Albon to partner their ‘prodigal son’ Daniil Kvyat.
Hartley, a two times WEC World Champion, was given a year and a bit to prove to his paymasters that he was the real deal with a future in Formula 1, but he underdelivered when it mattered while his teammate Pierre Gasly impressed enough to get promoted to Red Bull, while Hartley was axed from the programme.
Shortly after the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Honda thanked the 29-year-old for his services in a heartfelt way, pointing to his technical input as a strong trait.
Toro Rosso Statement:
Following the recent announcement that Alexander Albon will join Scuderia Toro Rosso to race alongside Daniil Kvyat in 2019, we would like to thank Brendon Hartley for his campaign with the team.
After a hugely successful sports car career, Brendon returned to Red Bull’s F1 family, making his Formula 1 debut with Toro Rosso at the 2017 United States Grand Prix.
Brendon has played an important role in the development of our partnership with Honda and his experience and feedback has proved highly beneficial. We wish Brendon all the best for the future.
Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal, Franz Tost, said: “We would like to thank Brendon for his hard work with the team. It was not an easy task to move from sports cars to Formula 1, especially at short notice.”
“His consistency over the final four races of 2017 earned him a 2018 race seat and, while ultimately we were not able to continue into 2019, he has been a key part of the team and aided the development of the Honda powertrain. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”