Brendon Hartley opens up on swift F1 axing, what future holds

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley has shared more details about what the future holds for him after his axing from Formula One.

Hartley was cut by Toro Rosso last week after the team announced Alexander Albon as Daniil Kyvat's teammate for the 2019 season, leaving the Kiwi without a seat for 2019.

Hartley admitted he's "definitely been better" on Newstalk ZB this morning.

"Still trying to figure that out. I've maintained a relationship with Porsche through all of this, I was with them for four years through the two world championships and Le Mans. My phone has been glued to my ear over the last week, a lot of emails.

"Not the perfect time of year to be sorting out a drive, coming into December but I've got a good reputation and just trying to figure out what the right steps are and also what's going to keep me happy.

"You will definitely see me doing something next year but it won't be Formula One."

The 29-year-old finished 19th in the driver's championship standings with just four points to his name.

"There were rumours very early in the season which was a big surprise to me when I thought I'd signed a long-term contract. Came off the back of a world championship, a Le Mans win and after just two or three races there were rumours and a lot of questions being asked around my immediate future.

"There were articles in the press saying 'he needs to improve and beat his teammate' and actually and the end of the season I really felt on top of my game, built great relationships with Honda, all the staff at Toro Rosso and I was consistently out-performing my teammate."

Despite what Hartley was feeling, Toro Rosso were swift in their decision to remove him with no mention of him in their 2019 unveiling and his profile quickly deleted from their website.

Besides a tweet wishing him the best, there was no comments from team officials on the matter.

While many would be bitter, Hartley is taking the high road and not willing to speak of the reported dramas behind the scenes at Toro Rosso.

"I would love to tell the story one day," he told Newstalk ZB.

"The politics I don't enjoy. It took me some time to get used to the extra media attention. I was definitely prepared coming into Formula One being involved in Porsche and LMP2 but I think the pressure definitely ramped up more than I expected in terms of being under the microscope a lot more but I got more and more comfortable with that during the season."

Hartley hasn't given up on racing in Formula One again either.

"I would never say it's closed. 10 years ago when that door was effectively shut, I've proven that it's possible to open it again.

"I'm now in a position where I have a Super license, I have hands-on Formula One experience, I definitely didn't disgrace myself and I definitely wouldn't say that door is closed. "

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley of New Zealand pulls his helmet on during the first practice session at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Friday, March 23, 2018. The first race of the 2018 seasons is on Sunday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Brendon Hartley. Source: Associated Press

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