Nico Hülkenberg was left stranded in the pits during the closing stages of Q2 on Saturday in Azerbaijan after the German’s Renault Sport Formula 1 Team RS17 developed an electrical issue.
Hülkenberg ended the session fourteenth fastest but will move up to thirteenth once Carlos Sainz Jr takes his grid penalty for his Canadian Grand Prix crash, but feels even from there it will be difficult to advance to the points.
“There was an electrical problem meaning we lost power and then the car couldn’t run at the end of Q2,” said Hulkenberg. “It’s a super challenging and tricky track here and we’ve seen a lot of issues up and down the pit lane.
“Tomorrow we’ll push and fight for points; it’s not going to be easy this weekend, but it’s a long race so you just have to stay on the ball and seize every opportunity.”
Team-mate Jolyon Palmer was forced to miss qualifying after he suffered a fuel leak and subsequent engine fire during final practice, which required an engine change that was not completed in time to take to the track, meaning he will start from the back of the grid or the pit lane on Sunday.
“It’s obviously not ideal to miss qualifying, but we had what looks like a fuel leak which ignited, and obviously did too much damage to the car for us to be able to make qualifying,” said Palmer.
“Tomorrow I’ll start from near the back of the grid, or the pit lane, so I should be in a strong position to capitalise if there’s any issue up the front of the field. Hopefully we make a few positions on the first lap, then anything can happen.”