Nico Hulkenberg: “Singapore was a missed opportunity”

Nico Hulkenberg has already put the disappointment of his early retirement in Singapore and subsequent penalty behind him and is focused on getting the best result possible this weekend at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Sahara Force India driver clashed with Felipe Massa early in Singapore, ending in the barriers, and was deemed responsible for the clash by the stewards who handed him a three-place grid penalty for this weekend’s race in Japan, but Hulkenberg is focused purely on the positives from Singapore, especially how competitive the team were before the incident.

“The benefit of back-to-back races is that you can get back in the saddle right after a disappointing race,” said Hulkenberg.

“Singapore was a missed opportunity to score a lot of points but I’ve put it behind me now: I would rather focus on the positives and on the good pace we showed until the accident.”

Hulkenberg admits it is always good fun to race in Japan, insisting it’s an old-school style drivers track that is physical on the body. He knows the need to find a good rhythm is important if good lap times are to be found.

“The week we spend in Japan is always good fun,” insisted Hulkenberg. “All the drivers love Suzuka because it’s a classic, old-school track with some very special corners: the Esses, Degner, Spoon and 130R.

“It’s very fast, with high g-forces and you really feel the grip and performance from the downforce. In that sense, it’s also very physical on your neck.

“The challenge of Suzuka is making sure you find the right rhythm. The lap is technical and you have to be precise because almost all the corners flow into the next one. That’s why a small mistake can be very costly in terms of laptime if you lose the flow of the whole lap.”