27 Sep 2018

Yet another new F1 circuit for Brendon Hartley

11:21 am on 27 September 2018

The New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley faces yet another new circuit when Formula One descends on Sochi in Russia this weekend.

Brendon Hartley.

Brendon Hartley. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hartley has had to do extra homework on a number of circuits in his rookie season in the championship.

Sochi is one of those that Hartley has no experience with.

"I've only ever been to Russia for a marketing event and that involved being there for less than 24 hours, so the weekend will be an interesting experience for me. Therefore, this will be another new track for me and last week I drove it in the simulator."

Hartley is coming off a 17th placed finish in Singapore when his Toro Rosso team tried a different tyre strategy.

It's fair to say, our Singapore performance was not what we wanted so we will be working hard back in the factory to try and find ways of moving forward. It's a case of hitting the re-set button, while building on the positive aspects with the aim of looking for points in Sochi."

Hartley is 19th in the Drivers Championship standings with two points.

He has voiced his concerns about the lack of updates for his car with the last being at Austria almost three months ago.

Brendon Hartley

Brendon Hartley Photo: Photosport

Next week's round at Suzuka in Japan will also be new for Hartley.

"I've driven Suzuka on F1 simulators and I did so again last week in preparation for this race, which will be the first time I actually drive the track. I have raced four times in Japan in the World Endurance Championship, but it's always been at the Fuji circuit."

"Suzuka is definitely one of the highlights on the calendar and everyone in Formula 1 talks about the track, especially the high speed sector 1, where you really push these modern Formula 1 cars to their limit and I expect this sector will be the place where the current cars feel the most impressive."

"I'm expecting a huge amount of support in Suzuka for Honda and Toro Rosso. Being Honda powered, it will be an important race for us and I hope we can put on a good show and deliver some points for the Japanese fans and the all the Honda guys."

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has won three of the last four F1 races and head into Sochi with a 40 point lead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

There are six races and 150 points remaining.