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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Hulkenberg: Haas F1 team needs "longer-term strategy" to improve race pace

Nico Hulkenberg says his Haas Formula 1 team is still missing pace after he tumbled down the order in the Canadian Grand Prix – and solving it is a long-term challenge.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

The German did a brilliant job to qualify second in Montreal, helped by a red flag preventing any late quicker laps for rivals.

However, he then lost three places for going too quickly on his lap back to the pits after the session was stopped.

He ran fifth in the opening stages of the race and had lost a couple of spots when he made an early pit visit on lap 11 – just before the safety car emerged and gave cheap stops to much of the field. He eventually finished 15th.

“It definitely didn't help, that's for sure,” said Hulkenberg when asked by Motorsport.com about the safety car.

“Lost a whole bunch of places - the timing wasn't great. Very different to Saturday with the red flag!

“But after that also I think we were struggling for pace and then for tyre management or tyre deg.

“Maybe not so much here, but it was more pace that I felt we were missing compared to some of our main competitors.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, makes a pitstop

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, makes a pitstop

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Asked if he’d enjoyed the laps when he had been able to hang on in front of quicker cars, Hulkenberg said: “If you're just being bombarded and you know you're hanging on by your teeth, it is not that fun, but it is what it is.

“It's tough to take especially when you're in the moment. But I think we have to think ahead longer term and think of a long-term solution for this.

“I think there's nothing really that we can do with set-up to fix this - it's bigger issues.

“We're very much aware of it, working on it. But it's a longer-term strategy that we need to pursue to get really much better at it.”

Hulkenberg said he had no issue with the grid penalty and admitted that he was in the wrong.

“Obviously, it was a pity,” he noted. “But I broke the law there. It's justified. I totally accept it and took it.

“Anyway, it wouldn't have made a difference to the ending of the race, I believe, but obviously still not great that I made that error.”

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