Nico Hülkenberg: “The result in Austin will give everyone at Enstone and Viry a boost”

by Paul Hensby
Nico Hülkenberg - Renault Sport Formula One Team - Circuit of the Americas

Nico Hülkenberg admitted his pleasure at the result of the United States Grand Prix last weekend, not just for himself but for the whole Renault Sport Formula One Team, with the German finishing sixth just ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.

Heading into this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Renault are twenty-two points clear of the Haas F1 Team in the Constructors’ Championship thanks to the result at the Circuit of the Americas, and the boost in confidence the result gave them means he hopes to see both drivers secure points in all three remaining races of 2018.

“I’m very happy with the result in Austin,” said Hülkenberg.  “Not only from a personal point of view, but from an overall team perspective where we enjoyed strong points from both myself and Carlos.

“It’s the best team result I’ve been involved in since joining Renault, so that’s very satisfying and the whole team did an outstanding job. A strong qualifying was decisive and our race pace was, once again, competitive.

“Everything is still possible for us; three races remain and we have to back this result up in Mexico. We know it won’t be easy, but the result in Austin will give everyone at Enstone and Viry a boost. We’ll take these next three races a step at a time and aim for double points at each weekend.”

Hülkenberg says he feels a connection to racing when competing at the legendary Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue, much akin to other circuits like Interlagos and Silverstone that are steeped in history, while he acknowledges the passion of the fans that make the weekend special and fun.

“Mexico is one of these places which has a special atmosphere,” said the German.  “The circuit is quite old and carries a lot of history. When you visit the track, you feel that connection to racing, similar to places like Interlagos or Silverstone, and that’s something I like a lot.

“The weather is usually great, the fans are so welcoming and passionate and that makes it a fun race weekend.”

Hülkenberg says the track is not an easy one due to its technical nature and high altitude, with the latter causing the cars to feel lighter than normal, which ultimately will benefit the speed of the R.S.18 down the straights.

“The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is a challenging circuit to negotiate,” said Hülkenberg.  “It’s located at high altitude – just over 2000m – meaning we lose downforce because of the low air density. 

“It makes the car feel a little light and floaty, but we hit the maximum speed of the whole season on the main straight at 340km/h. The circuit has a lot of tricky corner combinations. On paper they look quite simple, but they are far from easy.

“It’s a very technical circuit and not an easy lap by any means. The standout is the final two corners and piercing through the stadium sector. That’s a cool experience, especially when it’s packed out and you can hear the noise!”

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