Nico Hülkenberg faced a frustrating weekend at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix after having to retire his Sahara Force India VJM09 due to a fire caused by an oil leak.
The German driver narrowly missed out on making it through to Q3 by just 0.011 seconds, this saw him start the race in eleventh place on the grid.
Despite both Mercedes dropping out on the first lap, Hülkenberg was demoted to twelfth place as Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean, and Daniil Kvyat leapfrogged him, Hulkenberg would run as high as tenth place just before his first pitstop of the day.
On lap 20 the oil leak made itself known as flames licked their way around the the rear of the Force India car, the team ordered Hülkenberg to retire the car near a marshals post immediately so the fire could be extinguished.
“It’s frustrating not to finish another race.” said the German. “I saw some smoke coming from the back of my car and then it developed into a fire so I had to park quickly at the side of the track.”
Before the retirement he was confident that he could challenge for points and was disappointed to have to retire.
“Sometimes in racing you have periods when things don’t go your way, but you have to keep the faith and believe that sooner or later your luck will change.” he added.
Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley added “It’s been another mixed weekend, but I think our improved performance bodes well for the remainder of the season. As we learn more about this car we have the potential to continue scoring good points at the upcoming races.”