Nico Hülkenberg believed the opportunity for a first podium finish in his Formula 1 career slipped out of his grasp when he was forced to pit due to a puncture whilst running fourth during the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team driver dropped to the back of the field after picking up a puncture after running over debris from a crash from Kimi Raikkonen, with the front wing of the Scuderia Ferrari hitting Hülkenberg’s own front wing. Such was the impact, part of Raikkonen’s wing was lodged
Having pitted, Hülkenberg drove superbly to finish seventh, but team-mate Sergio Perez fourth at the chequered flag having been ahead of him before his pit stop, the German reflected on what might have been at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
“That was an intense race and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry because I think a possible podium slipped away today,” said Hülkenberg. “I had great confidence in the car, felt comfortable and I had the pace to push and overtake.
“There were some scary moments in the race, especially when Kimi crashed in front of me. Some of his debris hit my car and caused a lot of damage. At least I survived that, but then I picked up a puncture from the debris, which was so frustrating because it dropped me down to the back of the field.
“Without the puncture, who knows where I might have finished? I’m happy and proud of myself and the team. We did a great job, but we were just missing a bit of luck.”