Brendon Hartley 17th fastest in Brazilian Grand Prix practice




Birthday boy Brendon Hartley has recorded the 17th fastest time on the opening day of practice for Formula One's Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.

The Kiwi driver is hoping for a deal with Toro Rosso after his debut at the US Grand Prix in Austin this morning.

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley.

Source: Getty

Kiwi driver Hartley overcame a disappointing first practice session to drive a heavy second session at the Interlagos track.

His time of one minute 11.821 seconds was quicker than three others in the 20-man field.

Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly was 16th fastest, 0.399sec ahead of the rookie from Palmerston North.

It was something of a relief for Hartley, whose 28th birthday was shaping up badly when forced to pull out of the first session after just two laps because of engine problems.

His 54 laps during the second session was the most by any driver.

Mercedes dominated the session, with Lewis Hamilton clocking 1min 09.515sec to head off team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.048sec at the top of the timesheet.

Hamilton, who has already wrapped a fourth championship title, couldn't match his first session time of 1:09.202, which was a lap record.

Brazil hosts the penultimate round of the championship on Sunday, with the final practice session and qualifying coming a day earlier.

Hartley made his debut at the US Grand Prix in Texas last month, where he qualified 18th fastest and finished 13th in the race.

At the subsequent Mexico Grand Prix, Hartley was 13th in qualifying but failed to finish the race due to engine failure.

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