On the back of two successive Q1 eliminations in Qualifying for the Azerbaijan and Spanish Grand Prix, a back on form Nico Hülkenberg felt he was a contender for the top ten shootout at the Circuit de Monaco but found himself on the wrong side of the cut-off point when it mattered.
The Renault F1 Team racer will start the Monaco Grand Prix from eleventh on the grid on Sunday but will be the first driver in the field to have a free choice of starting tyre, which he hopes will elevate him into the points for what would be only the second time of 2019 and the first time since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.
Hülkenberg felt the potential was there to join team-mate Daniel Ricciardo inside the top ten shootout but despite missing out, the German remains positive that points can be scored on Sunday, particularly as he also started eleventh in Monaco twelve months ago and was able to finish eighth.
“I felt the car had the potential for Q3 today, so it’s a little disappointing to just miss out in eleventh place,” said Hülkenberg. “It was very tight out there.
“Maybe I was pushing too hard, overdriving the car in places here and there, but that’s only little things. I started in eleventh last year and we still managed to score decent points so we can be encouraged by that.
“We’ll bring the biggest boxing gloves we have and aim to have a fight tomorrow! We have some options on strategy with the free tyre choice so we’ll see and go from there.”