Nico Hulkenberg says he did not 'slack' alongside Jolyon Palmer in F1

Nico Hulkenberg has denied he could "slack" when he had Jolyon Palmer as his Renault Formula 1 team-mate, and says Carlos Sainz Jr's arrival made no difference to his efforts

Nico Hulkenberg says he did not 'slack' alongside Jolyon Palmer in F1

As part of the machinations around McLaren and Toro Rosso's swap of their Honda and Renault engine deals, Sainz was brought from Toro Rosso to Renault for the final four grands prix of the 2017 season.

He replaced Palmer, who had been outqualified by Hulkenberg for every race up to that point.

But Hulkenberg insisted the change in team-mate had no impact on how hard he was pushing.

"It would be unprofessional if I would have had some slack at the beginning of the season, because I was just safe," he told Autosport.

"I don't think if I take the first half of the season, and any of my qualifying laps, that I would have found significantly more time if I would have had another team-mate closer to me.

"I just don't believe it. I am convinced it is not like that."

Hulkenberg acknowledged that he and Sainz made a very strong pairing for Renault going into 2018.

"He is pushing and I am still pushing, we are pushing each other to the benefit of the team," he said.

"He is giving good feedback to the team as well.

"Two guys, instead of one, pushing everything forward is really important for a team."

Sainz said he had "already seen differences" he could learn from by watching Hulkenberg working with Renault in the final part of 2017.

"Everything is going to help I'm sure," Sainz told Autosport.

"I want to be up against a guy that has seven or eight years in Formula 1 that's really settled nicely into a team like Nico has over the last year.

"There is only things to learn and things to look out for so I'm going to just get into the atmosphere.

"We're going to push each other hard because I think also Nico welcomes the challenge of having me next to him and it's just going to push the whole thing forward.

"Already on the simulation we have a lot of similarities and that's going to help going forward."

shares
comments
Why Alonso's not McLaren's only driver problem

Previous article

Why Alonso's not McLaren's only driver problem

Next article

Sauber expects 'big leap' from using 2018 Ferrari F1 engine

Sauber expects 'big leap' from using 2018 Ferrari F1 engine
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg , Jolyon Palmer
Author Jonathan Noble
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021