In what is widely considered to be the most closely matched driver pairing in Formula 1, Nico Hulkenberg beat Carlos Sainz Jr. to eighth place in qualifying for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix by just 0.045seconds.
Despite beating his team-mate, Hulkenberg says that he wasn’t “especially happy” with the handling of his Renault Sport F1 Team‘s R.S.18.
“Given that I wasn’t feeling especially happy with the car I’m pretty happy with my qualifying position today,” says Hulkenberg.
“The whole of qualifying was tricky for me and in particular my Q3 lap wasn’t as good as it could have been.
“We changed the car quite a bit after yesterday and the wet FP3 meant we didn’t have as much time as we’d like to validate these changes.
Renault were expected to be front-runners within Formula 1’s ultra-competitive mid-field but were beating to the ‘best of the rest’ title by the Haas F1 Team. And Hulkenberg is expecting a busy race.
“It’s a close field out there so there will be plenty to do in the race.”