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With the Barcelona session nearing its end, Hartley got a wheel on the grass entering Turn 9 at high speed, spun and hit the barriers hard, ripping the rear off his Honda-powered car.
Fortunately he immediately confirmed to his team that he was “OK” and walked away to be taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks, where he was quickly declared fit to continue his weekend.
But Toro Rosso engineers will surely struggle to rebuild his car in time for qualifying, with the session getting underway at 3pm local time.
The extent of the damage to his car was evident as the recovery crane removed it from the gravel, with the engine and gearbox falling off the back. If a new chassis is required, then building up a new one could take several hours.
Hartley’s crash two minutes from time brought a premature end to the session, with the action red flagged and unable to get back underway due to the amount of damage to his car and the circuit barriers.
It means Pierre Gasly is set to be the only Toro Rosso representative out on track for the qualifying session, with the Frenchman finishing FP3 with an impressive P10.