Brendon Hartley was frustrated to have missed out on another Formula 1 points finish after a team strategy call backfired at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Toro Rosso driver was looking to follow up on his first Q3 appearance of the season with a third top 10 and was running in the points in Hungary when he was called in for an early stop on lap 24 to cover Nico Hulkenberg.

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Taking on a set of Mediums, Hartley struggled to match the pace of his rivals, and ultimately dropped out of contention as he finished 11th in Budapest after McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen benefited from running longer into the race and switching onto Softs.

“I’m disappointed with 11th place,” Hartley said. “I had a really good start and got my nose inside Pierre’s car going into Turn 1. Obviously I had to get out of it, as he braked pretty early and that worked really well for him.

“I ended up losing the place to Kevin, but I had very good start and I almost got Carlos too. In the first stint he was on the hard tyre and I was on the softer compound, so I had a lot more pace but there was no way to overtake.

“Then we pitted very early for the Mediums. I haven’t talked to the team about the exact strategy but what is clear is that didn’t work out for us.”

Hartley believes he could have extended his opening stint for much longer, and was also left to rue losing time letting the leaders through.

“The race could have been much longer,” he explained. “I saw we put new tyres on when we boxed but then going on to the harder compound tyre, which was much slower very early on.

“That meant that the people that stayed out on the softer compound were quicker and I got the blue flags so it was a double negative.

“I haven’t seen all the details on how it played out but we lost a lot of places on that strategy and that’s how it goes sometimes. I think what triggered the early stop was Hulkenberg pitting behind me.”

The Kiwi was convinced he would have been able to sign off for the summer break with back-to-back points finishes had Toro Rosso opted for a different strategy.

“I actually didn’t get overtaken once on track and I had some pretty good battles out there but it was all lost on strategy,” he added. “OK we had to split the strategy between the two cars but I was the one who got off worse today.

“Definitely points were possible today and that’s what is it annoying. To drop out of the points so early in the race from that early pitstop, it’s disappointing.”

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