Nico Hulkenberg has lamented the issues during the Russian Grand Prix which saw him finish in 10th despite having aspirations of challenging Carlos Sainz for sixth.
Thanks to a decent outing from himself and other dropping further back due to grid penalties, the German secured sixth position on the grid after finishing in that spot in qualifying, only to lose ground almost immediately after Lights Out in the race proper.
He thinks the bad start, and a variety of other issues, all combined for the 10th place finish, which he believes is the best he could manage.
“I can’t be that happy, to be honest, because the car I think should’ve been right up there in P6, we should’ve been fighting with Carlos [Sainz] for P6. It kind of didn’t happen for us today, in the race, everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” he said post-race in Russia.
“A bad start, bad pit stop, unfortunate with the Safety Car, traffic, some engine issues right at the end – it was all very difficult and in these circumstances you can’t really ask for more than 10th.”
Even though a botched pitstop and the introduction of the safety car was detrimental to his outing, he believes his own poor start set the tone for the disappointing day.
“Yeah, yeah obviously it all starts with the poor start,” he admitted.
“I lost three or four positions on lap one and obviously that’s not great, it leaves you a bit on the back foot and exposed from there.
“And of course losing seconds in a pit stop, in the midfield where every tenth matters, is quite costly as well.”
However, he thinks Renault can reclaim their form which saw them finish fourth and fifth in Monza in the next GP in Japan.
“That’s racing, I guess. We’ll regroup and bounce back in Japan.”
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