Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley enjoyed an unconventional entry into Formula 1 last year but the Kiwi is determined to make it his home for the long term.
Five years after parting ways with his dream of becoming a Grand Prix driver, circumstances paired with his steely determination – and a big boost of Red Bull – delivered an unexpected break to the 28-year-old former Porsche works driver.
Hartley is still on a steep learning curve as he undertakes his first full season of F1. His focus at the outset is on performing to the best of his ability, obviously, but on ensuring his long-term presence on the grid.
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“It’s already been on my mind,” Hartley confirmed.
“It was a dream to have my first debut grand prix, then to become a full-time driver, but then very quickly you accept the fact that, OK, I’m in Formula 1, how do I make the most of it?
“How do I make the right decisions and work hard enough to keep improving and also prove to everyone that I deserve to be here and stay here?”
As a sensible and rational individual, Hartley is advocating for a gradual race-by-race approach to make the most of his opportunity with Toro Rosso.
“Taking it one step at a time, it’s better that I just focus from one race at a time, but I feel a lot more prepared than last year and really ready for this new challenge with Toro Rosso Honda.
“Although it’s been an unconventional path to Formula 1, I hope I can show that it was the right one and it worked for me.”
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