Nico Hülkenberg has urged the Renault F1 Team to recover from a heartbreaking end to its Bahrain Grand Prix, where it lost a double points finish late on.
Both Hülkenberg and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo suffered with two different failures at the same time, and on the same 200 metres of track, with just four laps of the 57-lap race to go at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Hülkenberg had managed to turn a disappointing qualifying, where he was knocked out in Qualifying 1, to run as high as fifth before settling into sixth in the final stages – directly ahead of Ricciardo.
The loss of a potential haul of 14 points for Renault puts a dent in its bid to finish in the top four of the Constructors’ Championship for a second successive year, but Hülkenberg says that the team must move on a focus on maximising its potential at the Chinese Grand Prix – Formula 1‘s 1000th championship race.
“I would like to take the positives from Bahrain,” said Hülkenberg.
“Disappointment can happen in racing, but we move on as a team, learn from what happened and do everything possible to prevent it from happening again. We showed we had good race pace.
“There was a lot of overtaking, which we were able to hold our own in and we executed a slick two-stop, together with good pit-stops from the crew.”
Hülkenberg added that Bahrain’s showing should prove to Renault that it has the capability to run at the front of the midfield and provide the closest challenge from behind to Red Bull Racing.
The German cited the double points finish at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2018 (sixth and ninth through Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr.) as motivation and inspiration to recover from a tough start to the ’19 season.
“We must build on these positives and head into China knowing that if we string together a decent enough weekend, we’re more than capable of leading the midfield,” Hülkenberg added.
“Last year we enjoyed a successful result in Shanghai, so hopefully we can repeat that in 2019 and get our year back on-track.”