Proud Hartley left Yas Marina his 'head held high'


Brendon Hartley won't be racing in F1 next season, but the ousted Toro Rosso driver hopes his career in Grand Prix has just been put on hold.

The Kiwi's exit from the Faenza-based squad was confirmed on Monday by the announcement of Alexander Albon's arrival at Toro Rosso, where the British-Thai driver will race alongside F1 returnee Brendon Hartley.

On his way out last weekend, the 28-year-old was given a big accolade by Honda's engineers who thanked him for his hard work and his contribution to the manufacturer's engine development programme in 2018, the benefits of which will hopefully be reaped by Red Bull in 2019.

Hartley has since spoken out, insisting F1 remains "unfinished" business.

"I left the [Yas Marina] circuit on Sunday with my head held high," he said in a lengthy message posted on Twitter.

"I'm very proud of my story and my journey so far but I'm left feeling I have unfinished business in F1. For the moment, that has been put on hold.

"I've hit speed bumps before and I am a strong believer that tough situations make you stronger. It also helps that I have a great NZ [New Zealand] support crew, friends, family and wife.

"I also want to thank my trainer Rich and almost all of the 500 strong Toro Rosso staff who I have stood beside and have enjoyed working with this season, all of the engineering team, the mechanics, marketing, PR, logistics, hospitality crew, factory staff and of course all at Honda Racing.

"I really do appreciate the support I have received from fans across the globe this year, I still have plenty more pages to write in my story and I will make the most of the opportunity's [sic] in the next chapter."

Hartley's immediate future is unclear. He has retained a link with Porsche, but the German manufacturer is no longer racing in LMP1 in the WEC and may not have much on its plate to offer the 2017 Le Mans winner.

His relationship with Porsche could perhaps lead to an involvement in Formula E when the Stuttgart firm enters the all-electric series next year.

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