Nico Hülkenberg satisfied despite the defect

Bad luck for Nico Hülkenberg: The German had to park his car early in Q2 due to a technical problem and will start the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from 15th place on the grid. However, that is no reason for Hülkenberg to be upset.

“I think Q3 was probably out of reach. Maybe something like P11 or P12 would have been possible and realistic,” the Haas driver is honest.

“But yes, of course you never know if you don’t do it,” he mourns the missed opportunity. Nevertheless, the joy prevailed on Friday evening: “I have the feeling that we did a good coordination job from yesterday to today. It feels like it was a positive step that we took with the car and the balance. I felt more at home today.”

Hülkenberg “is excited to see how this will play out tomorrow” and what chances the Haas driver will have in the race. “The Saturday [das Qualifying] with one round is still not our problem. So we’ll have to wait for tomorrow and also Australia and Japan and China to get the full picture and really understand where we are.”

Hülkenberg in Q1 with “pretty good lap”

In Q1, Hülkenberg attracted attention because he was hindered by a Williams driver. “That damn idiot!” radioed the Haas pilot. In the end it was still enough to progress, although the German made a small mistake in turn 22 and crashed his VF-24 hard over the curb.

“That wasn’t risky. I just lost time,” smiles Hülkenberg. “I was worried that I would damage the car for the rest of qualifying.” But the 36-year-old was lucky and only lost a bit of lap time while flying through the air. “That was a pretty good lap at the end of Q1. It didn’t cause any damage. At least I hope it’s not related.”

Directly after qualifying, Hülkenberg was unable to answer why the VF-24 lost power a little later. “We have to bring the car back first and then look at the fuel system to see what’s going on,” ponders the Haas driver. “As it stands now, I have no idea.”

Hülkenberg optimistic: tire wear “under control”?

However, the Haas driver is confident for the race because he believes he has tire wear under control. The long runs on Thursday left a positive impression. “If we compare them to the others, it doesn’t seem exaggerated or very extreme and different.”

“[Es ist] “Pretty much the same as what we saw in Bahrain, so I’m optimistic that that should be under control,” enthuses the 36-year-old. “That’s probably the biggest positive for the start of this season, that they seem to have the problem in got the handle. It is still too early to make such a statement. But there are signs that it looks that way.”

“I am a little [zuversichtlich]”Maybe, I don’t know, I’m just happy,” Hülkenberg searches for the right words to express his feelings. “I’m happy that I can work here and struggle, even if things don’t go well. We have to keep fighting. It’s only the beginning of the season and the development race is on. So I’m all in.”

Magnussen “hopes to finish in the points”

Not everything went according to plan for teammate Kevin Magnussen, who qualified 13th. “We didn’t manage to get to the last lap,” reports the Dane, who only got the hint to hurry up in turn 13. “So this is basically too late.”

“The race is tomorrow, we’re in P13. That’s not bad, we’re pretty close to the points, and I think with a good race tomorrow we can fight for the points,” hopes Magnussen, who, however, believes in to be a little weaker due to the low temperatures in the evening.

“So it’s a bit surprising that we were still able to finish in the top 10 in these cold conditions, because yesterday in the second training session we really struggled,” ponders the Haas driver. “As I said, the race is tomorrow and hopefully our pace is okay, even in the long runs. Hopefully with a clean race we can get into the points.”