In Conversation with: Nico Hülkenberg
Nico Hülkenberg faced a cruel end to his race in Bahrain after a superb drive from seventeenth to sixth. But the German remains in a positive frame of mind as he gears up for the 1000th Grand Prix in Shanghai.
How do you feel after Bahrain?
I would like to take the positives from Bahrain. Disappointment can happen in racing, but we move on as a team, learn from what happened and do everything possible to prevent it from happening again. We showed we had good race pace. There was a lot of overtaking, which we were able to hold our own in and we executed a slick two-stop, together with good pit-stops from the crew. We must build on these positives and head into China knowing that if we string together a decent enough weekend, we’re more than capable of leading the midfield.
Where are the key areas on a lap of the Shanghai International Circuit?
Shanghai is a circuit I quite like racing at, even though it’s a tough lap to get right. The most famous combination is through Turns 1 and 2, which seems to go on forever. It can be easy to take it too fast, especially coming in from the long straight. It wears the front left tyre quite significantly and that’s something to watch during the race. Tyre management is also crucial in China. Elsewhere, the long back straight brings a good overtaking opportunity into the hairpin. Last year we enjoyed a successful result in Shanghai, so hopefully we can repeat that in 2019 and get our year back on-track.
What else stands out from the Chinese Grand Prix?
China is a busier one away from track as Formula 1 continues to grow in popularity there. It’s the 1000th Formula 1 Grand Prix and that’s quite special to be a part in. The fans are usually very excited in Shanghai, which is awesome to see and makes it even more important for us to put on a show. Renault is a big market in China and there will be a lot of activities going on to harness that.