Nico Hulkenberg: “One mistake and you are in the wall”


The Sahara Force India team are looking to get back into the points this weekend in Monaco, having seen both drivers miss out two weeks ago in Spain, with both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez admit they enjoy racing around the principality.

Hulkenberg is excited to be back racing at Monaco, and insists the whole lap is a challenge, especially during qualifying where everyone has to put together at least three clean sectors to get a good lap time.

“Monaco is my favourite race weekend of the year, both from a driving point of view and because of everything that goes on during the week,” revealed Hulkenberg. “Everything about Monaco is exciting: the place itself feels special, but when Formula One turns up it’s the start of something amazing.

“From a driver’s point of view, Monaco is one of the last tracks in the world where you have absolutely zero margin for error – one mistake and you are in the wall. The thrill and kick you get in the car as you drive around the circuit is much bigger than what you get from any other track: your heart rate goes up; your heart is in your mouth – I really like that.

“The whole lap is a challenge. To master the track and put together three good sectors on a qualifying run is very hard, but when you get it done it is such a great feeling. You are relieved, proud and happy – it’s priceless.

“The atmosphere you breathe in during the race weekend is so cool. From the start of the week there is a lot going on in terms of parties and events, and just being part of this weekend is very enjoyable.”

Team-mate Perez admits he always looks forward to racing in Monaco, and believes it is a circuit where the driver can make the difference when it comes to lap time. He also understands the importance of keeping his concentration as any small mistake can be punished in a big way.

“I always look forward to Monaco,” said Perez. “It’s a special place, which has everything you need for a Formula One race. The lap is amazing, the location is beautiful, and it’s the race everybody wants to attend.

“I enjoy the challenge of Monaco and I believe that the driver can make more of a difference compared to other circuits. To be quick you have to take some risks, push the limits, and kiss the walls. I enjoy the quick parts of the lap – the swimming pool section and Casino Square. It’s all about being accurate and precise.

“It’s not the most difficult circuit, but if you get it wrong, you get punished. When you get together the perfect lap, it feels great. That’s why I think it’s the one race where there is a chance to do something extra special.”