D he lean period was long. But the wait was worth it. Nico Hülkenberg is back in the Formula 1 circus. The debut could have been much quieter. In Australia he retired prematurely after a collision, in Malaysia there was weather chaos. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old improved from 16th on the grid to ninth place in the race and scooped his first points.
Technology updates at Force India
The explanation why teammates Paul di Resta ended up in seventh place further up front, is easy: 'His pace was better', analyzes Hülkenberg. 'We also made a mistake with the air pressure. I also had a lot of understeer because the wing could not be adjusted when switching to the intermediates.'
In China: New game, new luck. After the Malaysian Grand Prix, the German traveled on to India, did some sponsor appointments and finally recovered for a week at home. On Monday we went back to England in the simulator before we continued to Shanghai. For the third Grand Prix of the year, Force India has small technical updates such as changes to the diffuser and rear wing.
Potential for improvement in slow corners
'We still have room for improvement in slow corners . There is a lack of traction, 'says Hulkenberg. 'We look good in fast corners.' But the competition is not sleeping either. He is not surprised that Williams, for example, is doing better this season than last. 'That's one to three tenths, that's not out of reach,' says 'Hülk'. 'If you have a good day, you will make it into the top ten, otherwise you will end up further behind.'
After a year off season, Hülkenberg still has to get used to some innovations. For example with the Pirelli tires. 'You have to understand the different mixes and know how to use them,' says Hülkenberg. 'In the past year I've never seen anyone having problems getting them up to temperature. This year you have to make sure you get a free lap.'