Brendon Hartley warned he must improve on tough season as F1 team looks over 2019 options

Brendon Hartley's rollercoaster season in Formula 1 has taken another sharp turn with the Kiwi driver being told by his team he needs to improve or risk losing his seat for 2019.

Hartley's first full season in the prestigious motorsport circuit has been far from smooth sailing, with the 28-year-old collecting just two points in 14 races.

He has also been involved in multiple crashes this year, including one in the recent Italian GP where he lost his front wheel through contact before the first corner of the race.

While Toro Rosso teammate Pierre Gasly helped Hartley's chances by getting promoted to the senior team for 2019, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko admitted there was still pressure on the Palmerston North native.

"There has to be a big improvement in the last few races of the season," he told Speedweek.

"For 2019 there is no shortlist, but a long list. There are 10 names on there, one with a contract at Mercedes, which is why it probably won't be him.

"But everything is possible."

Hartley sits 19th on the championship with seven races left in the season but remains positive.

"Things still haven't gone my way but I won't let it break me," he said on social media.

The Kiwi will get his next chance to prove himself at the Singapore Grand Prix on September 16.

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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