Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Monaco, 2019

Hulkenberg says his Monaco GP ‘went wrong wherever it could’

2019 Monaco Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg says his Monaco Grand Prix went wrong at every opportunity.

The Renault driver’s race began to go wrong when he was hit by Charles Leclerc at Rascasse.

“I had a puncture from that on the in-lap, lost a lot of time and pitted,” said Hulkenberg. “And then obviously on my out-lap the Safety Car [was] deployed so it gave everyone else an advantage of 10 seconds. So I lost a couple of positions with that.”

He was also delayed by a collision between Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica which briefly blocked the track.

“It was just going from bad to worse,” said Hulkenberg. “It went wrong where it could, basically.”

Leclerc’s attempt to pass the Renault compromised both drivers’ races. Hulkenberg said he knew the Ferrari driver had passed Romain Grosjean at the same corner on the previous lap.

“My engineer told me that so I could sense it coming but you’ve still got to weigh up your chances as a driver and know when it’s a real opportunity or when not.

“But I think he was a bit impatient there. Obviously frustrated after [qualifying]. I wanted to get through the field but it’s Monaco, it doesn’t work like that always.”

“He came first of all from quite far back, Hulkenberg explained. “I saw, I didn’t leave much of a gap anyway and I saw that he launched. I played fair, I opened the steering and tried to let him some space and tried to let us both live.

“Obviously he spun I think into his own axis. He just kissed me, I didn’t hit the wall or anything but obviously he sliced my rear tyre open and that’s where, basically, it all started to go wrong. But I think he was definitely too ambitious in that moment.”

His eventual finishing position of 13th was not what the car was capable of, Hulkenbreg added.

“It’s quite frustrating because from car pace point of view we should be much more well ahead. it’s frustrating not to get it done if the car can do it. I think the racing circumstances prevented that. We need to find new, fresh traction for Canada.”

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Gabriele Koslowski
Gabriele Koslowski first began following Formula 1 during the early noughties, and is a director of a Belgian motorsport media company. During the past...
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9 comments on “Hulkenberg says his Monaco GP ‘went wrong wherever it could’”

  1. I hope things turn for around for Nico in Montreal, he has been close to Ricciardo’s overall pace so far (save for Baku); Ricciardo is great at maximizing the car’s potential, and has done so in the past four races, so I hope the Hulk can take inspiration from that and rise to the challenge…in Monaco, he was just a tenth off his teammate in Q2.

  2. I read on other sites that RB talked to Hulk during the last weekend, and he could potentially drive alongside verstappen the next season, replacing Gasly because of his poor results. On the other side, driving a RB could be premature for albon.
    That could be his last chanche to win something.

    1. @Panzik Can/could you give the source(s). I’d be interesting to read about those reports/rumors as well.

      1. I read it on Sky sport Italia and on the italian version of motorsport,com , but if you search “Hulkenberg news” or something like that you will find other sites that reported it.

        1. @Panzik OK, thanks for that, and I also found other sites reporting on it by googling ‘Hulkenberg talked with Red Bull in Monaco.’ – This was just a random choice of words to try and see whether it’d work. Nevertheless, an interesting prospect if it’s true given that the last time a driver who hadn’t been part of the driver-program nor driven at STR before joined RBR happened more than ten years ago.

          1. It could even be a kind of revenge by Red Bull and it will be interesting to finally see hulk in a good car.

  3. He was hit by Leclerc but I don’t recall a penalty for that. Leclerc also drove back way to wild with his puncture causing a SC.

    Imagine all the reactions if it was Max who did this.

    I hope Hulk’s luck will turn.

    1. If I remember correctly it was deemed as a “racing incident”, there really should have been a penalty(though a moot point as he retired soon after) for Leclerc for driving too dangerously around track in a car shedding parts all around.

    2. Monaco Really exposed the immaturity Leclerc has at this point of his career. The incident with Nico is a racing one and didn’t deserve a penalty, but driving around the track too fast and trying to race against healthy cars when he have a puncture, got his car destroyed and his race is done then. Hope he can learn from it and get better.

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