Formula One: Brendon Hartley determined to fight for Toro Rosso seat in 2019

With two races left this season, Kiwi Formula One driver Brendon Hartley promises to put up a fight and show his bosses why he deserves to keep his Toro Rosso seat in 2019.

Hartley's place at the Italian team has been under scrutiny through most of 2018 due to underwhelming results.

The 28-year-old has only scored four points this season, compared to 29 amassed by teammate Pierre Gasly.

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said a decision will be made at the end of the season in December, and Hartley must continue to impress if he wants to stay.

Gasly is leaving to join Red Bull next season and has been replaced by Daniil Kvyat, while British driver Alexander Albon has been linked to the team.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, Hartley said he has definitely felt the pressures of what it is like to race in the biggest motorsport competition in the world.

"I definitely have improved," said Hartley. "There was a lot to learn being a rookie, a somewhat old rookie at 28 years old but still a rookie in Formula One.

"Coming from LMP1, there were a lot of similarities, which I've touched on many times before, but then also a lot of new things to learn, tyres was the big one that springs to mind.

"Maybe the environment in Formula One, the style of racing. I guess some of the external pressures that are put on you as a driver.

"I feel through the season I've maybe hardened my approach, I've got stronger, and I've learned from mistakes, figured out with the engineers what's going to get the best out of the weekend for me in terms of the car, the setup.

"I think I've brought a lot of experience to the team. I think the last races, the second half of the season I've definitely been stronger. "

Hartley added people need to understand that Formula One is a team sport and he is just following Toro Rosso orders at times. 

"In qualifying, me and Pierre have been quite aligned, sometimes he's been just ahead, sometimes I've been just ahead.

"The races haven't always worked out. I don't think the points on the board is a true reflection. I think sometimes people do forget it is also a team sport, it's not just an individual, it's very much a team sport.

"I've been a team player, and now the focus is really on making sure that we're ahead of Sauber before the end of the season.

"That's the main focus for Toro Rosso right now."