Nico Hülkenberg will be looking to put the disappointment of crashing out of the last two Azerbaijan Grand Prix whilst in promising positions behind him this weekend, with the Renault F1 Team racer also aiming for his second top ten result of 2019.
Hülkenberg and then Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. had good pace during the opening stages of the race at the Baku City Circuit twelve months ago only for the German to hit the wall and damage his suspension, ending his afternoon in the run-off zone at turn five.
In 2017, Hülkenberg hit the inside wall at turn seven to end his afternoon there, and he will be looking to be the beneficiary of any carnage ahead of him this time around rather than watching from the side-lines.
“Baku is an interesting place and has a different feeling to the conventional Grand Prix weekend,” said Hülkenberg. “It’s also a bit different to any street track because everything is located quite close together, including the distance between the hotel to the paddock.
“The old town buildings, vintage houses, castles and cobbled streets are all quite cool to see. The race is also interesting year on year; I’ve been a little unlucky for the past two seasons there, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to capitalise on any opportunity.”
Hülkenberg started the year with a sixth-place finish in the Australian Grand Prix but has fallen out of points-paying positions in the races in Bahrain and China due to technical issues out of his control, with the German feeling the team has lost many points as a result of reliability problems.
“It’s disappointing to retire from two of the three races so far this year, especially as we’ve shown strong pace at each weekend,” said the German. “The car has been feeling good, I’ve been feeling comfortable in the car and there’s certainly potential to score solid points at each race.
“We have to ensure we have more consistent weekends. Baku can be a strange place for results, everything and anything seems to happen there, so we have to be in the best possible position to be in and amongst it.”