Formula 1

Nico Hülkenberg: “We couldn’t find that sweet spot with the car or the tyres”

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Nico Hulkenberg - Renault F1 Team at the 2019 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Baku City Circuit - Free Practice 3
Credit: Renault Sport

Nico Hülkenberg felt that he and Renault F1 Team could not find the “harmony” they needed during qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday.

The German was knocked out in Q1 and qualified eighteenth, six places behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The first run for Hülkenberg was compromised when he had to abandon both of his laps, one due to taking to a run-off area and the other because of yellow flags.

The thirty-one-year old did go back out for a second run but could not pull it together to make it into Q2. He will however be up a couple of places on the grid thanks to penalty drops for Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly and will thus line up in sixteenth position.

“I’ve been missing the harmony between myself and the car all weekend,” Hülkenberg said disappointedly.  “We couldn’t find that sweet spot with the car or the tyres.

“Things didn’t quite go our way in qualifying with a yellow flag hampering my first fast lap and then I locked up and went in too deep on my second.”

The one-time career pole sitter had crashed out of the previous two races in Baku but remains optimistic that both he and his team can salvage what they want from the weekend.

“The race, however, is not written off,” Hülkenberg added.  “We know it will be difficult but we know what’s happened here in the past.

“You have to be in it, and we’ll race hard tomorrow.”

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