Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley finds himself in the midst of a $25 million dollar battle as the Formula 1 season comes to a close.

A good performance from Hartley at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could secure a massive payday for his Toro Rosso team, who are in line for a lucrative finish in the constructors' championship.

The top five manufacturers have all been confirmed, leaving the race for sixth to be hotly contested between Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas-Ferrari.

Just six points separate those three teams, and the final finishing order will be pivotal.


There is an estimated NZ$25 million difference between earning sixth and eighth; a figure that could prove crucial in developing car technology - something especially important for Toro Rosso considering their consistent engine-related retirements of late.

Toro Rosso currently are in the proverbial driver's seat, with 53 points, with Renault on 49, and Haas-Ferrari on 47.

Toro Rosso also hold the tie-breaker, meaning Renault need to out-score them by five points to claim the lucrative sixth spot.

Six points are up for grabs for seventh spot in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, four for eighth, two for ninth, and one for tenth.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton secured the drivers' title - his fourth - at the Mexican Grand Prix last month.

Hartley, who debuted at the US Grand Prix a week earlier, has impressed with his performances since replacing French rookie Gasly in Austin and has secured a full-time drive for 2018.

Toro Rosso have earned just one point in their last five events, but a good drive by Hartley, or teammate Pierre Gasly, can clinch them their best finish since 2008 - and the substantial financial reward.