Nico Hülkenberg: “I had the pace to be on the podium today”

Nico Hulkenberg - Credit: Sahara Force India Media

Despite scoring his first points since the Australian Grand Prix in March, Nico Hülkenberg left Monaco disappointed not to have secured his maiden podium finish, seeing it fall out of his grasp during the first pit stop window.

The Sahara Force India driver was running ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez in the early stages, but the timing of his switch from the full wet to the intermediate tyre left him down in seventh, behind his team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg.

The loss of time in the pits saw him stuck in traffic for the remainder of the race, although he was able to get ahead of Rosberg on the run to the chequered flag as drizzle returned to the circuit.

“It was ultimately a disappointing race for me, despite getting back to scoring points,” said Hülkenberg. “I feel the timing of our first pit stop was wrong and that cost me track position and put me straight into traffic.

“This effectively ruined my race, as I spent the rest of the afternoon stuck there. It’s very frustrating as I had the pace to be on the podium today, but this is racing and it’s just the way it often is in Monaco.

“I was able to finally get past Rosberg with a good move on the exit of the final corner: we were on worn out tyres, it started to drizzle and it was very tricky to keep the car facing in the right direction. I got a better exit out of the corner and I think I got him by just a car’s length.

“All in all, I still feel it’s a huge missed opportunity for me. The car was in the sweet spot, it gave me a lot of confidence and I just had a good feeling today, but it was not to be.”