Hulkenberg hopes Nurburgring performance does more for 2021 chances than Silverstone

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In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg admitted his performances at Silverstone didn’t make an immediate difference to his chances of returning to Formula 1 full-time next year.

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What they say

Hulkenberg made his second return to F1 this year with Racing Point last weekend having driven for them in two rounds at Silverstone, though he was unable to start the first due to a technical problem:

Obviously it was difficult to expect very much from this race with so little preparation. The other guys they’re in the season, they’re in their car, and then here I am being thrown into the ice bath and trying to swim and survive somehow. So I feel quite happy and relieved that I managed this kind of performance.

Halfway through the first stint, things were falling into place. I was getting into the groove and into a good rhythm with the car. And I think that was key for us to then pull off the rest of the strategy and stay out of trouble. We obviously had a bit of help along the way from from some people dropping out, but still nonetheless good good strategy and a solid drive.

It’s difficult to say [what this means for 2021]. Obviously, this is the best I can do or the maximum I can do to promote myself and advertise. But after Silverstone also nothing really changed dramatically immediately. I think it’s still a process and people know that I’m around, but we’ll just have to be a bit more patient to see what’s happening.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Hamilton’s cleaner approach to racing than several other multiple champions is part of what makes him great, says @Roadrunner:

Congrats to Lewis Hamilton. What a career. We’ll never know who the all time best is but you can’t deny the numbers.

Furthermore – what we do know – is that Hamilton in comparison to Schumacher, Senna and Prost never used any dirty tactics. He played hard but always fair. For me that is the absolute standout of his legacy and should inspire the coming generation not only of drivers but basically of any sportsmen.

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On this day in F1

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54 comments on “Hulkenberg hopes Nurburgring performance does more for 2021 chances than Silverstone”

  1. Regarding COTD, remember Rosberg’s last race? That’s only sportsmanlike racing with really rose tinted glasses.

    Watch Kimi, Ricciardo or even Alonso or Button race: when fighting they always leave space for the other drivers. Hamilton (as many others) systematically pushes people out of the track (and he can, the rules allow for it if he’s in front): he’s not even close to the fairest drivers.

    1. @jamescoulee agreed. I definitely remember the Abu Dhabi race, Lewis ignoring team radio to f Nico over. I don’t see it as a lot different than some of the Schumacher crash-outs or Senna/Prost battles taking each other out. HAM did what he needed to do to win. Nothing wrong with that, but saying he never used any dirty tactics is definitely untrue

      1. I don’t see how driving slow can be considered dirty.
        The team order was essentially saying allow Rosberg to win the championship.
        Hamilton didn’t try to brake test him or deliberately run him off track. He just drove slow.
        Secondly taking a line that means your car intersects with the edge of the track, communicates to the driver behind that you do not intend to yield. It is different from swerving or changing your line in the middle of a corner or down the straight.

        1. I’ll never understand this logic, how is driving slow, so you can touch they guy behind you when he tries to overtake to ruin his race not dirty?

          Why else would he be driving slow? …

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            13th October 2020, 2:52

            Well Rosberg could have overtaken Lewis and left him in the dust:)

          2. That’s….not why he was driving slow at all. He was behind, he didn’t want contact. He was driving slow to back him into the pack so others could overtake him because he needed Rosberg 3rd or lower?

            That’s not difficult to understand.

          3. Hosford90 sure, so he would have let Rosberg go right by without a fight 🙄 Rosberg didn’t want to take the risk so it was what it was…

          4. so other people could pass Rosberg and Lewis would win the championship. are you saying he deliberately drove slow to brake test him? if both crashed out Rosberg automatically won

          5. … and to answer your other comment, he didn’t want Rosberg to pass him, only other people to pass Rosberg

          6. I think you need to take a more rounded view. Hamilton has never as far as I remember deliberately made contact with anyone. He has never parked it in quali to ruin the laps of others and secure pole. Abu Dhabi wasn’t about inducing contact with Rosberg, it was about backing Rosberg up into Vettel and hoping Vettel had enough to get past.

      2. Agreed. Don’t forget when he reneged on an agreement with Alonso and team at Hungary 2007, lied to the stewards at Australia 2009.

      3. First of all, thanks for COTD! I know some people don’t agree with me because of Abu Dhabi 2016 and “liegate” 2009.
        Here’s why I don’t see them as dramatic.
        Admittedly, liegate wasn’t great but back than he was very young and did what McLaren and Ron Dennis told him to do.
        Furthermore he had just dragged a bad car from the back of the grid to a podium position only to lose that again due to some miscommunication with his pits. So he might have thought initially that he deserved the place. The following apology and his remorse appeared to be honest and the whole affair helped him emancipating from Ron Dennis.
        Regarding the final race in 2016, I really don’t see the problem. Hamilton did make it difficult for Rosberg but he never crossed any borders. He didn’t brake tested him, squeezed him or did anything dangerous that could have put him out of the race. He just went a little bit slower than he could. Mercedes were panicking a bit on the radio but in hindsight they admitted they should have just let them race.

    2. To call that dirty racing is too harsh, Lewis wanted to be champion so what should he do try to crash Nico? No this is not dirty as Nico could overtake Lewis but didn’t.
      What Nico did in Monaco is really Dirty because Lewis couldn’t evade or do anything about that.

      So Lewis drove a speed fast enough to stay ahead and hope Vettel could overtake Nico so ignoring radio (maybe his radio was broken) is not dirty but it’s not nice either as they are racing for WC.

      1. At least he left space for Bottas this week in turn 1. Oh wait he didn’t Bottas had to go on the run off to keep his lead after Hamilton drove right up to the white line. No rose tinted glasses there as it was 3 days ago

        1. You don’t understand motor racing.

          Actually, Bottas technically shouldn’t have made that overtake, it was done with all 4 wheel way beyond the white line that defines the circuit egde. If there was a wall where the white line was, Bottas would have had to back out mid-corner because he didn’t have his car sufficiently ahead to force Hamilton to take a tighter line. That’s the responsibility of the driver taking an outside line, the risk is yours and if you’re going to risk it, you need to make sure you can force the other car to adjust their line, otherwise you’re getting run out of road. Bottas knew though, that the stewards don’t enforce track limits at that part of the circuit an knew he had a lot of room to go wide and keep his foot in. Hence no complaint from him.

          1. What are you talking about? Bottas was only outside of the track because Hamilton was going to crash into him if he hadn’t taken evasive action. Swap Bottas for Verstappen in that situation and you’re looking at a broken front wing and a puncture.

          2. James, actually, if you look at what is happening behind Hamilton and Bottas, it rather looks like Leclerc was shoving Verstappen off the track in Turn 1 in a similar manner.

            As an aside, what did you make of Ricciardo shoving Albon off the track in the same way, or Ocon giving Perez an even bigger shove off the track at Turn 1 (Perez wasn’t far off being shoved into the gravel trap at that corner)? You could argue that Ricciardo managed to pass Albon by doing that, and Ocon also managed to overtake Perez by using that same tactic at Turn 1 too – what is your opinion on their behaviour?

            There is also the added complication that, as noted by others, there were some drivers who did take advantage of going wide at Turn 1 to complete a pass on another driver, given you could stay on the throttle and then cut beneath a driver to take the inside line for Turn 2 if you went off the track at Turn 1.

            In Bottas’s case, it looks like, even before the turn in to the corner, Bottas is trying to position his car with the intention of trying to go around Hamilton on the exit of Turn 1 with the intention of cutting back beneath him for Turn 2. Was it necessarily to his disadvantage to have to go off the track in that corner when, in doing so, he could still line his car up to get the inside line for Turn 2?

          3. I don’t really see how bringing Leclerc into this is a good defence, he’s already ruined two drivers races on lap 1 this year, not the best benchmark for first lap etiquette. I agree that it seems a lot of drivers did intentionally carry too much speed into the first corner so they would have a chance to regain the position at turn 2, but without watching all the onboards it is unclear how many people could have made the corner but had to open the steering to avoid a shunt. To be honest, within the rules all of this is allowed so I can’t blame the drivers for doing it, but I honestly think the new trend of going too fast into the corner and praying the guy on the outside is in a good mood is an unwise way of racing.

          4. James, it was to point out that there are multiple drivers who are behaving in the same manner, such that the same complaints can be thrown at most of the field.

            Similarly, it was to point out that, just as you say we have drivers who might be “going too fast into the corner and praying the guy on the outside is in a good mood”, we are also seeing drivers potentially take advantages on the other side of that coin and going off track in the knowledge that they can potentially set themselves up to regain a position by doing so.

            It’s not necessarily an item that is completely binary “yes, it’s good” or “no, it’s bad” – there are ways in which drivers might be able to turn such scenarios to their advantage.

        2. No, Hamilton drove over the white line. He had all four wheels off the track. Didn’t apply full lock to the steering until he was approaching the outside of the track.

          He gets away with it against teammates because he’s team leader, but ended badly for him when he tried to push Albon around in Brazil and Austria.

        3. On lap 1 with such cold air and track temperature, its a miracle that the car turned around the corner even on soft tyres. F1 cars are different man…they are not hop in and drive like road cars and one warm lap was not enough with that weather, after factoring in the wait for grid at the end of formation lap.

  2. The Hulk out drove Sainz when they were team mates. Ricc out drove the Hulk, but somehow Sainz gets a job at Ferrari. Norris is also out driving Sainz at McLaren. I think Sainz is probably the most overrated driver in F1.

    1. I’d be surprised if Ferrari was paying Sainz much. They have their #1 in Leclerc.

      Also F1 is a neptostists dream, the names being matched is probably worth more to Ferrari and Sainz than anything else.

      1. @skipgamer would it be worth that much to Ferrari? Sainz’s father made his name as a rally car driver – for all the things that Ferrari might be known for, rallying is not one of them.

    2. Of course Ferrari likes to win but they like selling cars more.

    3. abananasplitz
      13th October 2020, 10:59

      sainz has been hired to be a nr2 and will be screwed over just as kimi was and vettel has been this year.

      1. Exactly. The perfect nr2. Thats been their system, like forever. Sainz knows this and if he’s smart he accepts it because he’s no WDC material as your examples describe

    4. Sainz has been a level above Norris this season if you look at the performances rather than the points standings. Without slow pit stops and the Silverstone puncture he would have finished ahead of him in almost every race.

    5. I thought I heard that Sainz was using the new (lower rake?) aero package this weekend and Norris was racing the old one which worked better around Nurburgring.

    6. I also dont see Sainz as a championship winning driver. On a good day, he may win races. But so can half of the drivers on the grid now.

  3. I feel sorry for Hulk :( Hopefully he can win a spot for next couple years, don’t think it would really do him justice either way though. Might be better just to focus on other series. His relationship with F1 at the moment seems to be akin to trying to rekindle something with an abusive ex.

  4. Aston Martin/Racing Point oh dear.

    Instead of Hulk and Perez next year Racing Point will have Stroll and Vettel! LMAO

    Meanwhile Mclaren will have Ricciardio and Norris


    Renault will have Alonso and Ocon!

    1. While I agree with most of the humour.

      Ocon really isn’t anything special.

      1. Darran Donald
        13th October 2020, 8:53

        Ocons not impressed against Perez and trounced by Ricciardo. If he’s beaten soundly by Alonso its over for him

        1. Ocon is exit. Didnt deliver.

  5. I think it’s really obvious from this last weekend that RBR needs to seriously consider rowing back on their in-house driver policy. For 2021/22 they should move Albon back to AT and appoint either Hulk or Perez to partner Verstappen.

    I appreciate there are financial issues at play with the funds Albon’s connections bring to the team but they don’t need to drop him completely. He’s clearly not up to the role of a consistent no. 2 so keep him in place for the rest of this year, be kind, look after him, but then move him back to AT at the end of the season.

    With Hulk, or my preference Perez in place, I think RBR could definitely put a lot more pressure on Mercedes and they would have a no. 2 capable of at least getting podiums when the opportunity arises. Unless of course, they think one of these two established drivers might put too much pressure on Max’s role as team no. 1?

    1. @phil-f1-21 My predictions for the line-ups of RBR and AT for next season are as follows:
      RBR: VER, ALB
      AT: GAS, TSU/VIP (or the other way round with ALB and GAS),
      AT: GAS, TSU/VIP,
      RBR: VER, GAS
      AT: TSU, VIP.

      1. @jerejj @phil-f1-21

        Both ALB and GAS have already shown what they can do in that Red Bull. Hiring Perez or Hulk is the right choice but I’m not sure how things would go if we have GAS and ALB in the same team. They both are fast enough to be on the podium but if thigs heat up too much there will be some troubles inside the team. Still it would be their best line up to this day.

        1. GAS to renault. Ocon out. Hulk to RB. Albon to AT

  6. I do not agree about what RB would do. I think that they should move Albon right now to AT. Tell him that his duty is to get used to AT this year and then have a fair competition with Gasly on 2021 for possible RB seat.

    Put Perez or Hulk in RB this year and evaluate if they get used to drive it. Gasly is also an option, but Kvyat is doing poor job, so it is not straightfoward to flip drivers.

    They should not wait until 2021 if they really want to win the constructor’s championship. I guess that RB’s expectations for 2021 will be pretty clear by looking what they choose to do during the next two months.

    1. @jamt I can’t see Red Bull overlooking their academy drivers, so more likely Albon would be out altogether than get demoted to AT.

      1. But didn’t they do that with Max? he was never in their academy…

        Hulk or Perez are much more experienced and if they get the message that they are nr.2 drivers they would be great in RBR.

        1. @macleod Max joined the academy to immediately be given a chance in the B-team for the following season.
          I was referring to Yuki Tsunoda and Juri Vips, who both look rather likely to become eligible for a super license thanks to FIA’s amendments to the criteria. Not putting either one of them at AT for next season would be unfair to them and question the point of having a driver academy. In the recent past, there hasn’t been proper candidates for the B-team in the academy, so now that there are more than one, it’d be wrong to overlook them entirely. I expect either one of them to be at AT alongside Gasly if not even both at AT next season in which scenario, Gasly back to RBR because taking an outsider like Hulkenberg or Perez would mean that the whole trio of Albon-Gasly-Kvyat would have to go altogether, not only Kvyat.

          1. Max Joined the academy program? I told he was signed to Torrorossa for the next season. He never was in a RB programma as he was also interested in Mercedes. For the rest of his F3 season he was RB sponsored.
            I am certain he isn’t from the RB academy as they hired him for F1 on the spot.

            Ah Yuki and Juri i think 1 of those with be in the Alfa Tauri next year but if they contract Perez (or Hulk) they will have to wait.

          2. @macleod Max did join Red Bull’s Junior Team, but the announcement that he was joining their academy came only a handful of days before he was formally confirmed at Toro Rosso.

            It therefore raises the question of whether Max “joined the academy to immediately be given a chance in the B-team”, as @jerejj puts it, or whether Max actually signed the contract with Toro Rosso first, and one of the conditions of that contract was that he then had to join Red Bull’s academy.

            The two events happened close enough to each other that both accounts are possible, and there were certainly enough rumours of Max signing a deal with Toro Rosso before his formal announcement as part of the Red Bull academy that it’s quite plausible that the deal with Toro Rosso came first.

  7. The Girls on Track thing is a great step. And hopefully W Series is going to get on the F1 weekends next year. Socialisation is such a powerful thing, these examples will really start to make a difference for girls growing up.

    1. I see this not really going to help the next 5-10 years support for girls is much better.

      Victoria Verstappen would have great backing from her Mother, Dad and Max but still she would not get seats in the higher formula’s so she quit racing. This for example!

      1. That’s not why she quit racing…

  8. Regarding COTD: The raw edges of the other drivers mentioned (mostly) came out when they were under severe pressure. Hamilton also started to show cracks at the end of the 2016 season (as mentioned above), but had it his way since (apart from an ‘off-weekend’ here and there, no one mounted a serious season long challenge). Although I agree Hamilton seems to be more in control of his inner ruthless winner mentality, I don’t think Bottas is a strong enough driver to unravel Lewis.

    1. And yet he still didn’t resort to deliberate contact to win. Schum, Senna and Prost can all be accused of this. He also didn’t park it in qualifying to gain pole a la Schumacher and Rosberg. Pressure will always impact performance at the highest level of sport but I don’t think Hamilton has ever resorted to dirty tricks on track. Hard, but not dirty.

  9. Not sure why RB would take Hulk when Perez is available – extra funding, and proven to be a slightly better driver who doesn’t crack when a podium is available. And that latter characteristic is just what RB needs. Albon needs to go really, the current situation is bad for both him and the team.

    1. Absolutely agree.

  10. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    13th October 2020, 14:14

    Not surprised to see Askew leaving McLaren SP, he’s had flashes of greatness but he’s been shown the way by O’Ward soundly this year overall.
    Not sure who will take his place, but I think Reenus VeeKay would be a great aquisition.
    McLaren have had an outstanding first year, and with a package this competitive, they should set their targets on Alexander Rossi for 2022. I just hope they don’t pick up Will Power if he gets bumped to make way for Scott McLaughlin.

    1. Pagenaud will go before Power does.

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