Brendon Hartley believes that a tough first four races in Formula 1 was the perfect way for him to experience the sport first hand. The Kiwi was drafted in by Toro Rosso for the US Grand Prix before closing out the season with the Red Bull junior team.
The 28-year-old will race full-time next year alongside Pierre Gasly after six years in the World Endurance Championship. Hartley's first four races in F1 were a rough affair, with a number of engine penalties demoting him to the back of the field after qualifying.
He failed to pick up any points in a Toro Rosso that struggled at the back end of the 2017 season. However, Hartley believes that he learned valuable information to take with him into 2018, when Toro Rosso will partner Honda.
"The learning process was steep and very important. It was tough. I’m not going to lie, especially with eight weekends on the trot," he said at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Paris on Friday night.
"That was a good experience for me, to learn what that takes out of you and what areas you need to improve. That was the perfect introduction into Formula 1 in terms of preparing a season, having some real racing experience to start next year.
"I’m looking forward to having a bit of a break, recharging the batteries, and coming back strong next year. I’m hearing a lot of positive things out of Toro Rosso and out of Honda. I can’t wait to work alongside them next year, and hopefully prove my worth in Formula 1," he added.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing