Brendon Hartley shaking off rumours of possible F1 axing - 'I just stay focused on the job I get paid to do'

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley isn't worried about the rumours circulating about his future in Formula 1, saying he's eager to make his mark at the upcoming French Grand Prix.

Hartley took time in his regular F1 video blog to address the issue.

"There was a bit of noise in the background over the last couple of weeks," he said.

"I was asked a few awkward questions about my future in Formula 1. It was a bit annoying but that's part of the business and I actually felt really good about how I handled the whole situation. I didn't let it affect me and I just stayed focused on doing the job that I get paid to do."

Hartley has struggled in his first full F1 season, earning just one championship point in seven starts in 2018.

As a result, pressure has been building on the 28-year-old with Red Bull Racing consultant Dr Helmut Marko confirming earlier this week Toro Rosso had had thoughts about dropping the Kiwi.

"If the trajectory had not improved, then we would have had to look somewhere for an alternative," he said.

"But that's not the case and Brendon is now competitive."

Hartley said he's gaining confidence from that newfound competitiveness.

"Every weekend I feel like I'm getting stronger and stronger," he said.

"You know, I'm an old fella in some ways but I'm a rookie in Formula 1 and as the weekends go by I feel I'm understanding more and more the business of Formula 1."

Hartley is set to compete in the French Grand Prix this weekend, with qualifying starting at 2am NZT on Sunday.


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Brendon Hartley's F1 team confirm they were ready to axe Kiwi driver

Brendon Hartley's Formula 1 team have confirmed rumours surrounding the possible axing of the Kiwi driver were true for a time.

Red Bull Racing consultant Dr Helmut Marko told German motorsport website Motorsport Magazin Hartley's future at Toro Rosso was in jeopardy after the Kiwi had only earned one championship point after seven races so far this season.

"If the trajectory had not improved, then we would have had to look somewhere for an alternative," he said.

"But that's not the case and Brendon is now competitive."

Hartley had shown improvements at the last Grand Prix in Canada where he qualified 12th for the race before being the victim in another unfortunate accident which ended his race just five turns into the first lap.

Hartley is set to compete in the French Grand Prix this weekend, with qualifying starting at 2am NZT on Sunday.


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'Probably just being a bit too safe' - Scott McLaughlin pipped for Supercars pole position in first Darwin race

Kiwi driver Scott McLaughlin has been pipped for pole position in this afternoon's first Supercars race in Darwin by Holden's David Reynolds.

Reynolds snatched the top spot off the Kiwi early in the 15-minute session, setting a time of 1:05.89 to take pole by four tenths of a second.

“I threw everything I had at it and it stuck," Reynolds said.

"The car was pretty good, thanks to all the boys, they put in the hard work last night to change the set-up a bit."

McLaughlin was critical in his self-evaluation afterward.

"I just missed a little bit on my lap, probably just being a bit too safe trying to get that first lap in, and paid the price.

"[On the second lap] I basically knew through 1, the track had changed completely grip wise. It’s unbelievable how it all happens and how our cars react to that rubber.

"It’s probably something we need to think about in the future, but it’s the same for everyone."

The first race of the Darwin Triple Crown starts at 6:45pm NZT this evening.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22:  race winner Scott McLaughlin driver of the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Falcon FGX celebrates on the podium during race 1 for the Supercars Australian Grand Prix round at Albert Park on March 22, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Scott McLaughlin on the podium at the Australian GP. Source: Getty


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