Hulkenberg: Renault “deserved better” than “bitter” Sochi

Nico Hulkenberg says his Russian Grand Prix result feels "bitter" and was not what the pace of his Renault RS19 Formula 1 car deserved.

Hulkenberg: Renault “deserved better” than “bitter” Sochi

Hulkenberg had the edge over teammate Daniel RIcciardo all throughout the weekend at the Sochi Autodrom, and duly put himself sixth on the grid for the race.

However, the combination of a subpar opening lap, a slow pitstop and a poorly-timed virtual safety car brought out by Sebastian Vettel left Hulkenberg on the back foot.

Asked if the sole point he'd picked up for finishing 10th was bittersweet, Hulkenberg said: "No, just bitter, not sweet enough today.

"It started with a poor start, poor first lap and lost three or four positions, then I raced back, recovered one position or something.

"We wanted to undercut but the slow pitstop put us right back. And in this field every tenth matters.

"If you lose a couple of seconds, that’s bad, and we had to push on and use my tyres a lot, which is always difficult towards the end of the tyre life stint.

"Then there was a virtual safety car which went against us too, I think two guys sneaked by again, so it kind of all unravelled against us today.

"Unfortunate, because I feel the car deserves much better, I had really good pace in the car but could never really show it because I was stuck behind someone. So yeah, a little bit frustrated."

Hulkenberg could've gained an extra place at the chequered flag due to Kevin Magnussen's looming five-second penalty, but a loss of power "in the last 10 laps" meant he was unable to take advantage.

With Daniel Ricciardo retiring as a consequence of an opening-lap collision, Renault took away just a single point from Sochi and has dropped to 33 points off the midfield's benchmark team McLaren.

"Today, we lost points again," Hulkenberg said when asked about Renault's ambitions of snatching fourth place in the team's standings from McLaren.

"I don’t know what the gap is, [but] it’s a lot, and every race that goes by and we don’t outscore them it obviously gets more difficult.

"Whilst we want to fight in the championship we need to focus race by race and get everything out of it to stay clean and smooth and I think that’s all we can do."

shares
comments
Jos Verstappen urging changes to avoid another "lost year"
Previous article

Jos Verstappen urging changes to avoid another "lost year"

Next article

Tech verdict: How Ferrari really turned the tables on rivals

Tech verdict: How Ferrari really turned the tables on rivals
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021