Brendon Hartley pushed 'two or three centimeters' too far before FP3 crash

Esteban Ocon's Spain simulation (0:54)

Force India's Esteban Ocon reveals his love of racing simulators as he takes on a virtual lap of the Spanish Grand Prix. (0:54)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Brendon Hartley believes the heavy crash which ruled him out of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix was caused by the finest of margins.

At the end of final practice on Saturday, Hartley dipped his left tyre on to the grass at the crest of the hill at Turn 9. That pitched his Toro Rosso car into spin that ended up in the wall.

"That was a pretty similar line to what I was taking every lap, other than this lap I used two or three centimetres more, or maybe turned in a little bit later," Hartley explained. "As the kerb finished, I got to the small hole between the kerb and the track. It was a fine margin. It was a such a small difference in line, but big consequences.

"But it wasn't so different from the other laps, say two or three centimetres to the right, and it was like every other lap. I think you can see from the onboards, other guys were using the kerbs, I just used that little bit too much and it locked up the rear tyre."

When asked if he had suffered a bigger crash in his career, he said: "I honestly don't remember. And that's not because I've just had an impact!

"I had a crash in the first WEC round in 2016, but it wasn't such a big impact in the end. Really such a big impact like that, it's potentially the biggest one I've had to be honest. I don't now the exact number [of Gs], but it's probably one of the biggest crashes I've had."

Hartley was unhurt but his car was badly damaged, a situation made even worse when the rear of the car collapsed when it was hoisted in the air by the circuit's recovery crane. That moment was met with pained expressions in the Toro Rosso garage, some of which were captured on F1's world TV feed.

However, Hartley has full confidence his team can get the repair job done in time for Sunday's race.

"From what I understand, there's no damage on the chassis. These modern Formula One cars, between Friday and Saturday, it would be stripped down to a similar level and new bits going on. So I think the team is more than capable of getting the car ready.

"Normally on a Saturday you don't plan to do this for a Sunday. I believe all the parts are available. I don't know what new parts we have to introduce to the pool and what knock-on effects that has. From what I understand there's no chassis damage, which is the most important thing for them getting the car fixed for tomorrow."