June 7, 2018 / 8:59 PM / a year ago

Hartley has faith in Toro Rosso contract

Motoracing - Formula One F1 - Monaco Grand Prix - Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco - May 24, 2018 Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley before practice REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Brendon Hartley said he expected Toro Rosso to honour his contract as speculation continued to swirl about the New Zealander’s Formula One future.

The rookie batted away questions at the Canadian Grand Prix on Thursday after reports that his team had approached McLaren about the possibility of their British reserve Lando Norris replacing Hartley.

“It’s the second grand prix in a row I’ve been responding to the rumours, but it’s not really interesting for me to comment,” he told reporters.

“I know what my contract says, I’m very confident in the work I’ve been doing for Toro Rosso behind the scenes to develop the car,” added the Le Mans 24 Hours winner and world endurance champion.

“Things didn’t really go my way in Monaco in qualifying, but I felt very strong all weekend and I’m going to take the same approach this weekend.”

Hartley has scored just one point in six races for the Red Bull-owned team this season compared to 18 for Frenchman Pierre Gasly in the other car, and has also made some costly mistakes.

He was dropped by Red Bull early in his career, in 2010 when reserve driver for both Toro Rosso and Red Bull, but was brought back into the fold last year after Russian Daniil Kvyat was dropped and Carlos Sainz was loaned to Renault.

“I know I have the ability to be here and doing a good job in Formula One,” said Hartley.

“I don’t have the points on the board, but I know it’s possible. I think it’s silly for me to comment on rumours, as that’s all they are.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

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