Monday, May 27, 2024

Nico Hülkenberg: “Track position is pretty valuable here in Barcelona”

Nico Hülkenberg felt it was his best Qualifying performance of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season so far, with the German set to start seventh on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The MoneyGram Haas F1 Team driver says track position is important at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and putting himself inside the top ten is a good result for everyone within the team.

“That’s our best qualifying of the season so far, clean and well executed by the team and myself,” said Hülkenberg.  “It’s positive and a very decent position to start the race from tomorrow.

“Track position is pretty valuable here in Barcelona, so we’ll take that and get ready for a tough fight.”

Hülkenberg knows it will not be an easy race on Sunday, especially with tyre degradation likely to be high, but he will be looking to break into the top ten to score points for only the second time this season.

“It’s not going to be an easy race, it’s going to be a tyre degradation race with strategy, and we have to play our cards well, but the car has been performing and I feel within the midfield we’re definitely competitive,” Hülkenberg concluded.

“The other car showed what’s possible” – Kevin Magnussen

Team-mate Kevin Magnussen admitted it was not the kind of day he would have wanted on the other side of the garage, with seventeenth on the grid not reflective of his true pace.

Magnussen felt Hülkenberg’s pace showed just what was possible, but he was not able to get things right with his own set-up, and with a far from ideal car, it left him outside of the cut-off point for Q1.

However, he hopes the set-up of the car will benefit him on Sunday as he bids to claim up the field towards the points-paying positions.

“It’s disappointing, the other car showed what’s possible and we haven’t got it right this weekend,” said Magnussen.  “With the field being so tight, it’s just a massive penalty when you miss that window.

“Nico went to the higher downforce set-up and it seems that it’s working well, so a good job done by the team and I’m happy to see the car performing. Unfortunately, it’s P17 for us tomorrow but we’ll try again and hopefully our car set-up is good for the race.”

Kevin Magnussen was eliminated in Q1 in Spain – Credit: Jake Grant / LAT Images