Nico Hülkenberg: The drama in the first round

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg
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N ico Hülkenberg could have saved himself the trip to China. In training, Sebastian Vettel stood in the way at the crucial moment. Otherwise the Force India driver might have been on the grid in front of his teammate Paul di Resta. At best before Bruno Senna. With starting position 14, the end of the flagpole for the VJM05 would have been reached. The white-green-orange cars in Shanghai weren't any faster.

Downforce shifts four percent backwards

The race was over for Nico Hülkenberg after the first lap. 'I got off to a bad start. Then it went haywire. Parts flew through the air everywhere, and unfortunately one hit my front wing.' The endplate had been grazed by a shot. This meant that the aerodynamic balance shifted four percent backwards. 'The result was animal understeer.'

That's why Hülkenberg couldn't even get past Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham in the early stages. In the curve before the long straight, he couldn't keep up with the front because of the loss of downforce, and the Force India-Mercedes soon ran out of breath on the straight. 'Our translation was too short because we expected a headwind that didn't come. That's why I quickly landed in the limiter.'

Nico Hülkenberg goes into a rage

After the first pit stop, the race started all over again for Hülkenberg. The change of nose and the new front wing brought the aerodynamics back into balance. At times, Hulkenberg set the lap times of the top. 'After that it really went forward. I got really excited and could see on the big screen how I was catching up. Unfortunately, after the first turn, I was already too far behind.'

The race to catch up brought him the ninth fastest race lap. Practically at the same time as winner Nico Rosberg. Di Resta placed half a second faster than the three positions further up.

In the last laps, Hülkenberg ran into Kimi Raikkonen. Then the problem with the limiter hindered him again. 'I got stuck with him. My set of tires had already covered 26 laps. That was the positive aspect of the race. The tires lasted much longer than expected.' Nevertheless, Force India has to step on the gas. Sauber and Williams are currently a class better.


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