Nico Hülkenberg did everything he needed to do to ensure he qualified for the Belgian Grand Prix but knew the grid penalty that was coming his way made it pointless to go back out for Q2.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team racer set the thirteenth fastest time of Q1 and would have gone out again in Q2 but for the engine penalties, but saving the engine was more of a priority, especially with so many races of the season still to go.
Hülkenberg admitted he would have liked to have been on track in Q3 when conditions changed, and the rain fell, but ultimately it was never going to happen due to the circumstances that befell him earlier in the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
“The one lap I did today was pretty much on the pace, so the car felt alright,” said Hülkenberg.
“Q3 looked like it was exciting and it would have been nice to be involved, but with the engine penalty it made sense for us to skip the rest of qualifying to save the engine as it needs to go a long way from here.”
Hülkenberg says he will have to be realistic about a possible points finish on Sunday starting at the back but the pace of his R.S.18 has been good so far this weekend, so he does retain some hope.
“We have to be realistic for tomorrow and it won’t be easy to get into the points,” said the German.
“Having said that, overtaking is possible here and our top speed has been competitive so far this weekend, so I want to have a good race and have a bit of fun and hopefully there will be a nice reward at the end.”