Kiwi Brendon Hartley completes 156 laps in final Formula 1 test in Barcelona

Kiwi Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley has finished in seventh on the final day of Formula 1 in Barcelona.

The 28-year-old completed 156 laps in Spain on Saturday morning (NZ time), with a best time of 1m 18.949s, 1.728s behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Hartley's time was a steady improvement from his 1m 19.823s he set on Thursday (NZ time) where he completed 119 around the Circuit de Catalunya.

"It was another really good day today, we completed 156 laps within two hours from the end of the session," Hartley said. 

"The people watching back home might not realise but there are so many people involved to get these cars working to perfection. I think we're really in the mix and that we're looking good for that midfield battle, which is really fierce."

Hartley once again praised the reliability of the Honda engine inside his car.

After having a number of problems with Renault engines in 2017, Toro Rosso decided to switch manufactures this season and so far, they are proving to be successful.

"It's been great to see how much we have unlocked from the STR13 and all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

"We're starting to get a better picture of where we are in the fight, it was a really positive test and I think we've shown a lot more than what people expected… which is great.

"It's been a strong start to the partnership with Honda, so I think everyone's really positive after these test days and we're really looking forward to Melbourne which luckily isn't far away."

Hartley teammate Pierre Gasly recorded a time of 1m 18.363s during the penultimate testing day on Friday (NZ time).

The opening race of the 2018 F1 season will take place in Melbourne, Australia on March 25.


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