Hulkenberg: Renault deserved more after bitter Sochi F1 race

Nico Hulkenberg says his Russian Grand Prix result feels "bitter" and was not what he and the pace of his Renault RS19 car deserved

Hulkenberg: Renault deserved more after bitter Sochi F1 race

Hulkenberg had the edge over team-mate Daniel Ricciardo all throughout the Formula 1 weekend at the Sochi Autodrom, and duly put himself sixth on the grid for the race as he fights to remain on the F1 grid for 2020.

However, the combination of a subpar opening lap, a slow pitstop and an unfortunately-timed virtual safety car brought out by Sebastian Vettel left Hulkenberg on the back foot.

Asked if the sole point he'd picked up for finishing 10th was bittersweet, Hulkenberg said: "No, just bitter, not sweet enough today.

"It started with a poor start, poor first lap and lost three or four positions, then I raced back, recovered one position or something.

"We wanted to undercut but the slow pitstop put us right back. And in this field every tenth matters.

"If you lose a couple of seconds, that's bad, and we had to push on and use my tyres a lot, which is always difficult towards the end of the tyre-life stint.

"Then there was a virtual safety car which went against us too, I think two guys sneaked by again, so it kind of all unravelled against us today.

"Unfortunate, because I feel the car deserves much better, I had really good pace in the car but could never really show it because I was stuck behind someone.

"So yeah, a little bit frustrated."

Hulkenberg could've gained an extra place at the chequered flag due to Kevin Magnussen's looming five-second penalty, but a loss of power "in the last 10 laps" meant he was unable to take advantage.

With Daniel Ricciardo retiring as a consequence of an opening-lap collision, Renault took away just a single point from Sochi and has dropped to 33 points off the midfield's benchmark team, its engine customer, McLaren.

"Today, we lost points again," Hulkenberg said when asked about Renault's ambitions of snatching fourth place in the team's standings from McLaren.

"I don't know what the gap is, [but] it's a lot, and every race that goes by and we don't outscore them it obviously gets more difficult.

"Whilst we want to fight in the championship we need to focus race by race and get everything out of it to stay clean and smooth and I think that's all we can do."

shares
comments
Binotto: Costly F1 Russian GP Vettel stop was for safety reasons

Previous article

Binotto: Costly F1 Russian GP Vettel stop was for safety reasons

Next article

Steiner may face further scrutiny after criticising Russia stewards

Steiner may face further scrutiny after criticising Russia stewards
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021