Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2014

Hulkenberg hails “best run of results”

2014 Canadian Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Monte-Carlo, 2014Nico Hulkenberg says he’s enjoying the best form of his career so far having scored in the each of the first six rounds this season, including five top-six finishes.

“It’s my best run of results in Formula One and I’m really enjoying the racing,” said Hulkenberg .

“I’ve said many times that consistency is our strength and we showed that again in Monaco with another fifth place. Monaco was not our strongest track, or our weakest track, but we still brought the car home for a great result.”

Hulkenberg is fifth in the championship and only 14 points behind Fernando Alonso, who is third.

The Force India driver took fifth in Monaco after completing two-third of the race on a set of super-soft tyres. “It was such a hard race,” he said.

“There was pressure from behind and my tyres were gone. Just keeping the car out of the wall was difficult. So it was a big relief to keep Jenson [Button] behind.

“I was shouting over the radio when I crossed the finish line because it was such a satisfying result for everyone in the team.”

Hulkenberg is cautiously optimistic about the team’s potential in Canada this weekend.

“It’s difficult to say how we will perform in Montreal,” he said. “In theory it should be one of the better tracks for us, but things change from race to race.”

“It’s good that we have the soft and super-soft tyres again because I think the softer tyres are more suited to our car.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Hulkenberg hails “best run of results””

  1. The next Fernando.

    1. @joshua-mesh I’m hoping he’s not the next Alesi. Immense talent, simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  2. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
    2nd June 2014, 10:24

    If it wasn’t for Mercedes, This Force india would be a race winning car.

    1. I assuming that logic comes from the fact that Perez got a third place? Also consider that if Mercedes weren’t so competitive, their engine wouldn’t be either and wouldn’t have powered the FI to that third place.

    2. don’t forget who FI’s engine supplier is…a more accurate statement would be that without Mercedes the Force India wouldn’t have even made it onto the podium

      1. AMEN to that, I say it was pure dumb luck Perez got in the podium

      2. No car would get anywhere without an engine power unit.

  3. imagine what hulk could have achieved if he was in a even better team like red bull or ferrari

  4. one more podium in montreal or even suited tracks for FI. best of the rest?

  5. The guys a demon! He deserves every result earned and then some.

  6. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    2nd June 2014, 12:15

    I hope he gets a podium this year as the guy is unbelievably quick. Perhaps he could have given Fernando a better run for his money but then again, Force India looks like the better team right now for Nico.

  7. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    2nd June 2014, 12:44

    Really surprised this guy has never secured a podium finish. He certainly is consistent.

  8. Am I the only one who wants him to stay in the Force India for the next years? It would be amazing to see him lead the team to the front end of the grid. Assuming the Force India keep stadily progressing through the field though…

    1. For FI, progress would stop at the top four. They simply don’t have the money to overhaul the works teams and Redbull.

      1. True but… If Lotus did it (well… almost) why FI can’t?

        1. Again, Lotus spent a lot more money than FI.. Almost double, if not more..

          1. only because they didn’t pay Kimi and took in Maldanado for his money.

        2. I’m just here thinking about what would have happened if The Hulk was in Lotus now…

          1. Well, I predict it would have visited fewer walls.

  9. He is overrated. In 2010 old, slow and fat Rubens destroyed him totally. Then in 2012 it took him 3/4 of the season to crack DiResta. Now when both him and Perez finish races he has difficulty beating him…. He is not another Alonso, rather another Heidfeld of this generation.

    1. 2010 was Nico’s rookie year, and Rubens had just come off the back off his best season in 5 years. Hulkenberg returned in 2012 after a year out, so it was bound to take him some time to readjust

      1. @samf94 In 2010 he pulled off some excellent drives, notably in the wet, and definitely gave Rubens, who was in the form of his life the year previous according to Martin Brundle, a good run for his money at times. Also, Brazil. And remember the outrage caused when he was dropped for Maldonado, who has had one excellent result in 3 and a bit years.

        In 2012 he was on par with Di Resta for the first half of the season but in the second half he pulled off some amazing performances, notably in Korea and in Brazil before he made a rookie error in the latter.

        In 2013 he simply placed that Sauber in places where it didn’t belong. Nuff said.

    2. Now when both him and Perez finish races he has difficulty beating him
      – Nico has twice more points than Perez. Mexican is a terrible racer actually, because he doesn’t work at all in order to improve his skills. Hulkenberg does. I have a strong feeling that he will become next Alonso.

    3. I kind of agree with that. I know people calls him the next big thing but frankly I don’t know why. Yes he is consistent, yes he did quite well against his teammates but when it matters most he just doesn’t have this extra something. He was beaten by Perez to podium and he is giving him a run for his money only in his first few races in a totally new environment.
      I don’t really have nothing against him but I would say that he is the new “Heidfeld” indeed. No doubts about his speed but there is still something missing.

      1. Nobody’s calling him the next Button?

    4. You’re forgetting that Hulk has a weight disadvantage to most of the drivers. Until the solve the weight issue, he’s going to always be in a bind and fighting to stay even with everyone.

  10. Hulkenberg is probably my driver of the season so far. However, I’ve also been impressed by his teammate for being able to more than just keep up with him. I know I have been highly critical in the past on here but I’m genuinely impressed with the maturity he’s shown for most of the season so far. If it wasn’t for his needless contact in Monaco he could well have finished in the points too in every race he has started.

    I remember the stats from the first four races saying that Force India basically had the sixth fastest car on one-lap pace, I’m unsure where they stand now, but that does raise a few eyebrows as to how impressively both have been driving. In fact, I reckon both Force India drivers have been putting in their best run of their careers so far.

    The fact that Hulkenberg hasn’t scored a podium let alone a win in his career is a travesty given his talent. I always thought that Perez would be good for a team like Force India but I never expected him to give Hulkenberg as much of a challenge as much as he has been doing, it’s another thing to keep up that sort of run all season long though.

    1. He’s certainly had a very strong start to the season. I would say Hamilton, Alonso, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg are my top 4 of the season so far, although where they place relative to each other is difficult (impossible) to judge due to car differences.

      I’ve also been surprised by Perez though, he’s had his share of troubles but on pace has been matching Hulk quite often. I still expect Hulk to finish the season comfortably ahead but if Perez keeps his nose clean and continues to stay close on pace he would go up some in my estimation.

      1. @keithedin Well Malaysia was beyond his control (Hulk brilliantly finished 5th), but Perez’ recurring issue of mediocre qualifying cost him in Australia as he got tangled up in contact further down the field. He also wasn’t blameless at Monaco between the contact with Button. Beat Hulk on merit in Spain and more importantly Bahrain though to take that fantastic podium (and my DOTW vote).

        1. In Spain Perez didn’t beat Hulk ‘on merit’. Force India reported that car’s floor was damaged and Nico couldn’t go faster.

  11. I’m not really sure what to think of Nico Hulkenberg after the first six races of the year. There is no doubt that he is very consistent and very good. He outperforms Perez more often than not. However, it was Perez, who took Force India’s second ever podium in Bahrain.

    On one hand, that might not mean much as BIC has never been among Hulkenberg’s favourite tracks. On the other hand, there is such thing as “delivering when it matters” in F1. Bahrain was a window of opportunity but Hulkenberg was not able to score his first podium even though the car was good enough for that.

    Nevertheless, the only way to be sure if a driver is one of the very best or not is to put him in a top car like Red Bull have done it with Ricciardo this year. I hope Hulkenberg gets the same chance as soon as in 2015.

    1. He never stood on a podium, but he almost won a race though …

    2. @girts I kind of felt bad that he did not defend Perez in Bahrain . Actually Perez roughed it up a bit in Bahrain . Had Hulk not conceded , it would have been a crash. That said , Hulk is doing a great consistent job . Once in a while he will whip up a performance like Brazil 2012 ( That was bittersweet for me as he took out Lewis ) or Korea 2013 which I am not sure Perez will be able to do on more occasions than one .

    3. @girts
      I think he had some car issue after the safety car in Bahrain didn’t he? I remember the team giving him credit for holding up the cars behind allowing Perez to get away.

      1. @George This is what Hulkenberg said after the race: “I was behind Checo and I felt I had a little more pace, but I was in dirty air and that caused me to struggle towards the end”. He did a good job but Perez was better in qualifying and in the race, too.

        Brazil 2012 was probably another wasted chance even if the conditions were difficult and the penalty was questionable. It doesn’t mean that he’s not a great driver, it’s just that he’s failed to take his chance a couple of times.

        1. @girts
          Must be my memory playing tricks again, just went through the race articles and couldn’t find anything :/

    4. Some people wanted him in Lotus for 2014…guess where he would have been now…

  12. I always knew the battle between the Force India drivers would be close, it doesn’t seem like that because Pérez has had some bad luck a couple of races but I imagine Hulkenberg will also have some later in the year, I still expect him to have more points at the end of the season, but he’ll have to work hard for that.

  13. Good driver, but not great (like Lewis and Fernando)…he’s so overrated by my fellow britons, who have a big man-crush at Nico…

    1. still, neither lh nor fa found the solution when he was defending against them. lh “any thoughts?” lol, lh would be the best on the grid if he had the mental capacity of the hulk.

      1. Mental capacity from a man that hasn’t been able to score a podium…yeah right…he is nowhere near the level of LW btw…you are another example of a British having a man crush at “the hulk”…

          1. LOL
            Maldonado is a GP winner.
            Ric looked quite average in the Torro Rosso.
            Hamilton failed to beat his opponents when he tried to outwit them.
            I’m not British.

  14. Look, I can settle this right now. His name is Hulkenberg and his nickname is “The Hulk”. What else do you need to know?

    There, now that’s settled. :)

    1. Oh, and you’re welcome.

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