Nico Hülkenberg knew he would be starting the United States Grand Prix from the back of the grid on Sunday ahead of Qualifying, so it was no surprise that the German made only one qualifying attempt on Saturday.
New power unit components meant a twenty-place grid penalty was coming his way, and the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver set a best time of 1:35.740s in Q1, which was more than enough to see him advance to Q2 once again, but he did not venture on track again in the second session, and will start nineteenth on Sunday, ahead only of debutant Brendon Hartley.
Hülkenberg is hoping to make progress towards the points on Sunday, and is looking forward to attacking those ahead of him from the back row of the grid.
“We have a twenty-place grid penalty for the race, so regardless of where I qualified, I’ll be at the back of the grid tomorrow,” said Hülkenberg. “We opted to have flexibility on strategy as we can choose our starting tyres, and this also saves car and engine mileage through not running to the end of the session.
“The car felt competitive today, as we saw by my being in the top ten with a single Q1 run. It’s a track where you can overtake, so tomorrow has interesting possibilities. I’m looking forward to a good bit of racing.”