13 Apr 2018

Brendon Hartley takes limited experience into Chinese Grand Prix

9:01 am on 13 April 2018

The New Zealand Formula One driver Brendon Hartley and his Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly will take limited knowledge into this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Gasly recorded Toro Rosso's best result in a long time with a fourth place in Bahrain last weekend, while Hartley struggled with some bad luck to finish 17th.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR1;  Brendon Hartley.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR1; Brendon Hartley. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hartley believes he has enough experience at the track.

"I have driven at the Chinese track a few times in the World Endurance Championship and we had quite a bit of success there in LMP1, with two wins and a second place and that's always good for your confidence. The WEC races here lasted 6 Hours, but split between three drivers that makes 2 hours each, so not that much different to an F1 race."

"I quite like the track, it's very technical and very hard on tyres with such a long Turn 1 - where I think there's 10 different options and lines, and there's always some crazy passes on the inside, which is good for the driver and fun for the fans. Also entering the back straight, there's a really long right hander which is really hard on the front left tyre, so I think tyre management will be a bit of a discussion in China."

Gasly has similar experience.

"I have only been to the Shanghai International Circuit in my role as reserve driver with Red Bull Racing, so this week will be the first time I actually get to drive on the track. It's always exciting to discover a new place and a new circuit and this one looks like being a pretty cool one. Like most drivers I use the Playstation and I love driving this circuit on it, so I can't wait to do it for real. Those first two corners that seem to go on for ever are particularly challenging. Usually I don't take long to learn a new track, so I hope that's the case, because getting on the pace as quickly as possible on Friday is always the key to a good weekend."

Mercedes have dominated in Shanghai recently, winning five of the last six races there.

Lewis Hamilton has won five of the last 10 races in Shanghai but thinks the track will suit Ferrari, whose driver Sebastian Vettel has won both races so far in 2018.

Vettel has a 17-point lead after two races, in which Ferrari have twice beaten Mercedes in strategic battles.

-Toro Rosso.