Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg admits he could have done better in his return to Formula 1 qualifying, but is looking forward to continued improvement.
A last-minute call-up for the British Grand Prix after Sergio Perez’s was diagnosed with COVID-19, Hulkenberg is getting his first F1 action since Abu Dhabi 2019 here at Silverstone.
“I feel there was more potential and I didn’t get everything from the table, but given the circumstances it’s also very hard,” he said on Saturday. “I don’t know if you can expect to get 100% from the car in those circumstances. It was small margins.”
Ultimately qualifying 13th, Hulkenberg was 0.065 seconds away from making it into Q3, with the last spot going to his teammate Lance Stroll.
“Q3 was not far away. We played around with the different compounds so that was a bit tricky also with the rhythm. It is what it is for today.”
Asked about the physical challenges that have come with his sudden return to the sport, Hulkenberg admitted it was taking a serious toll on his body.
“These cars are beasts. They have so much downforce, I’ve never felt so much speed in the corners here, so much speed.
“It’s pretty impressive. But also tough.”
Making matters easier, Hulkenberg says he has quickly established a working relationship with the team, for whom he raced for twice, first from 2011-12, and again from 2014-16.
“The team and I are working well together. I’m also starting to get an understanding of the car, so the goal is to keep learning and adapting quickly. We’ll do our homework tonight and aim to score good points tomorrow.”