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- Updated: October 18, 2017
Brendon Hartley’s call-up to Toro Rosso for his Formula One debut was so abrupt that he is spending most of his time ever since being approach by the team in learning each detail about their car through a manual.
While Hartley is not new to motor racing, this will be the first time he competes on the Formula One circuit and he is doing all he can to gain maximum knowledge.
“I’ve just been handed the driver manual which is about 50 pages long,” Hartley told Newstalk ZB.
“I’ve got to learn all the procedures of the car, the steering wheel. I have four hours of testing before qualifying and I’d like to think that will be enough to get up to speed.”
The 27-year-old did, however, get the chance to take a virtual run on the team’s 2017 STR12 in the Faenza-based outfit’s simulator, but that will obviously not cut it.
The Kiwi will be looking to rely on his vast WEC skills and expertise with Porsche to get on top of things as quickly as possible.
“In terms of pure lap time, it’s not that much [different],” he said.
“It’s seven or eight seconds per lap. It’s not that much, especially on race pace. The cars I’ve been driving are extremely quick.
“I guess it’s partly the reason why they’ve looked to put me in the car, and also the fact the cars are so technologically advanced, hybrid technology, all that stuff. That’s similar.
“It is going to be a big step,” he added.
“It’s been six or seven years since I sat in a single-seater.
“But I try to take a simple view of it: It’s a race car, it’s got four wheels, the physics behind what a driver has to do to go quickly around a racing circuit doesn’t change too much.”