Off the back of a fifth-placed finish at the German Grand Prix, his home race, Nico Hülkenberg says that the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team must build on that momentum heading into Formula 1‘s three-week summer break.
Hülkenberg’s result matched Carlos Sainz Jr.’s finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the best performance from a works Renault car since Nick Heidfeld‘s podium at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix and marked his best result for since joining the team last year. Calling it an “excellent result” for all involved, Hülkenberg stressed the importance of continuing the good pace.
“Fifth at my home race was obviously an excellent result for me and the team,” he beamed.
“It’s my best finish since joining Renault, so we can take encouragement from that and look to build on this in Hungary. We’re clearly in a difficult fight for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship and it’s been a tough battle so far, especially through these summer European rounds.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but I’m confident we can come out on top and I’m up for the challenge.”
Renault have collected 24 points in the last four races, a run of form that has led to them consolidating fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, 21 points ahead of the level-for-fifth Haas F1 Team and Sahara Force India F1 Team, after the first 11 rounds of the 2018 season.
The German said that he enjoys racing at the Hungaroring, but is very much looking forward to a chance to rest.
“I really enjoy Hungary, it’s a good Grand Prix weekend,” he said.
“It’s the final round before the summer break, something I’m very much looking forward to after a busy and hard-fought string of European races.”
Regarding the Hungaroring, situated in Budapest, Hülkenberg said that the nature of the track’s rhythm means that one mistake can cost a lot of time and that the race demands more from the driver from a fitness perspective.
“In terms of the circuit itself, it’s very technical with some fun corner combinations, which come thick and fast,” he explained.
“All the corners combine in a way, and one small error means the next corner is compromised. It’s important to strike that balance and harmony with the car.
“It’s usually a physical Grand Prix, very hot and busy at the wheel. It’s a race where fitness is key, more so than some races and that’s a challenge I relish.It’s an interesting place, a nice final city to visit before the summer break.
“The fans are always passionate in Hungary and they always enjoy the Grand Prix weekend.”
With his haul of points in Germany, Hülkenberg extended his buffer to Fernando Alonso in seventh in the Drivers’ Championship to 12 points. The 30-year-old has also beat his points tally for the whole of the 2017 championship in doing so.