Nico Hulkenberg had little to celebrate from Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix after losing the final point to Kimi Raikkonen within sight of the flag. The Lotus driver blasted past Hulkenberg into Sainte Devote on the last lap to snatch tenth place and the German said he had nothing left in his tyres to defend with in the closing stages.
“We couldn’t expect any miracles today, and yesterday we weren’t in the top ten either. Today we just lacked speed throughout the race. Unlike most of the other drivers, I started on soft tyres at the re-start, which was ok in the beginning. But, after another Safety Car, the tyres never came back to life again. The rears especially degraded a lot. When I got out of the car I could see the steel belt, so it’s no wonder the pace wasn’t good enough anymore. It’s a shame, as that point would have been ours.”
Sauber teammate Esteban Gutierrez finished his first Monaco Grand Prix in thirteenth and was left to rue his poor qualifying performance which left him with too much to do.
“It was very challenging to bring the car back home without any scratches or a crash. The first Safety Car compromised our strategy and in the end we just had to make the best out of that situation. We couldn’t expect to score points, but I did my best to use every opportunity I had to gain positions. Nevertheless, it was also important to not go over the limit and finish the race. I had a good re-start and was able to fight, but one of the points where we have to improve is the top speed in order to be able to fight for positions. It was tough with Williams in front and Lotus behind. On the other hand, I need to work so I can cope better with changing conditions in qualifying.”