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Honda pays tribute to Hartley

NEWS STORY
27/11/2018

Despite Helmut Marko's claim that he would retain his seat if he "beat Pierre Gasly", in the eyes of many the decision to drop Brendon Hartley at season end was made some time ago, with Toro Rosso having made an approach to McLaren for the services of Lando Norris just a couple of races into the season.

Indeed, with the kiwi effectively being used as a guinea pig this year ahead of Red Bull's switch to Honda, not to mention the fact that teammate Pierre Gasly was marked out for greater things, it is unlikely the New Zealander would have been retained had he made it to the podium.

While Hartley didn't warrant a mention in Toro Rosso's press release confirming Alexander Albon as Daniil Kvyat's teammate for 2019, Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe and motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto, were keen to pay tribute to the departing kiwi.

"On behalf of Honda, I would like to express my thanks to Brendon for all his hard work this year," said Yamamoto on social media. "Brendon is always a friendly and charming person who immediately embraced Japanese culture and Honda's way.

"It gave everyone at Honda so much power and confidence in what we were doing this year after several difficult seasons," he added. "I particularly remember when he qualified sixth at our home race in Suzuka. That meant a lot to Honda. We will miss him and wish him all the best for the future."

"Everyone at Honda enjoyed working with Brendon throughout the year," added Tanabe. "He was very strong on the engineering side, always giving very precise and useful feedback, based on his great experience working with hybrid power units and as a double world champion and Le Mans winner in LMP1.

"That feedback accelerated our development in terms of set-up work, which helped us progress over the course of the year. Thank you Brendon, and we wish you all the very best for the future."

Check out our Tuesday test gallery from the Yas Marina, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 28/11/2018 16:21

"He (Hartley) said he was going to miss MOST of the people in TR, and ALL of the Honda personnel - I don't think either TR or RB have a half-decent development driver - As for Dr. Helmut, give it several bad races and Marko will be slagging off Honda as much as he has, Renault. Newey's comments about him in his book are interesting - doesn't seem to be much of a fan......"

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2. Posted by alfsboy, 27/11/2018 23:37

"Thats Mr Hartley set up for life in Japan .They look after their drivers ."

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3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 27/11/2018 17:30

"Going by the Honda statement another team should hire Hartley for car performance development (3rd or simulator driver / tester).

Isn't there a seat going in the series in Japan that Mr Button just won with Honda?

Regarding F1, as a new driver it seems the time to impress is getting shorter and as has been the case in the past, cash is king.

That being said, if a driver has buckets of cash, they have to still be damn good as the team needs the points for the prize money, particularly in the midfield."

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4. Posted by Batman, 27/11/2018 16:54

"It seems to me that this statement should be read like "Brendon, we at Honda do not give a **** to what Helmut Marko says. We love your skills as a driver as much as a person. So, if we can help you in the future, you just have to tell us. We would very much appreciate having you in our racing family."

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5. Posted by Elf Team Tyrrell, 27/11/2018 15:42

"I think given the chance in decent machinery and of course a team that has some decency, Brendon would have been a good F1 driver. Sadly he was with the awful people at Red Bull. Sorry to see him go, wish he was staying and Red Bull going. "

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6. Posted by klmn, 27/11/2018 14:05

"Brendon is a real LMP1 winner, not like Alonso in one horse races"

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