Q & A with Nico Hulkenberg

Conducted and provided by Williams's press office.

Q & A with Nico Hulkenberg

Q. How are you feeling about your new appointment?

Nico Hulkenberg: I'm pretty excited to be racing for Williams. They're real racers. I've been with the team as a test driver for two years now so I know everyone well. I've also been working in the factory itself this year with stints in composites, the wind tunnel and sub-assembly. I like the people and the atmosphere within the factory is really good. I'm now in a race seat and I'm really looking forward to next year.

Q. What are your objectives for next season?

NH: I just want to deliver consistently and do a good job for the team. I'd like to have some good races and score point.

Q. What expectations are there from the team?

NH: Of course they are expecting something otherwise they wouldn't have put me in the car, but I think their expectations are realistic.

Q. What steps will you take to ensure you hit the ground running in Formula One?

NH: I can't ensure anything; all I can do is work hard over the winter. I'll take all of the tests that I get and I will use the simulator at Grove as much as I can. I'll prepare well with my engineers and then hit the track and go racing and see where we are in Bahrain.

Q. When will you get your first run in the car?

NH: I will test the 2010 FW32 when testing starts in February, but I will be doing two of the young driver tests in December at Jerez.

Q. Rubens Barrichello will be your team mate for 2010, your thoughts?

NH: It's completely positive from my perspective. As a rookie in Formula One, you couldn't ask for a better person to be your team mate. It's a good combination.

Q. Do you think you can get the measure of Rubens next year?

NH: It's difficult to judge at this stage. As there is a limited amount of testing before the season starts, it will be difficult to get much track time in to prepare, but I hope to be on his pace from the beginning. From there, I hope I will be able to match his speed and results and maybe even beat him at some point.

Q. Is he the kind of team mate you would prefer?

NH: I don't really mind. I just want the best team mate I can get. Someone who is quick, experienced and a good driver, and that's what I see in him.

Q. Will you go to him for advice?

NH: I would be stupid not to! I think I can learn a lot from him and his experience, particularly by seeing how he works over a race weekend.

Q. It's been five years since Williams' last victory in Formula One. From what you know so far of the new car, do you think the team can turn their fortunes around?

NH: I certainly hope so. I'm in the factory a lot so I see how hard the guys work, but you never really know how quickly and effectively the other teams' development programmes are going until you get to the track. It's only then that we will be able to tell.

Q. What are your thoughts on the team running a Cosworth engine?

NH: I think it's looking positive, but it's the same as the development of the car; you have to wait to judge until you get out onto the circuit with the others.

Q. How do you feel you've grown as a driver following your year in GP2?

NH: I think GP2 is a tough series. In your first year, you have to compete against drivers who might have been in the championship for two or three seasons. They already have the experience of pitstops and the circuits. That is difficult to compete against and we definitely found the opening races hard work. After a few races, though, we quickly settled into a good rhythm and started to work well together as a team which helped. That was all a good learning process for me.

Q. Do you think there is more pressure on you because Willi Weber is your manager because he managed Michael Schumacher in Formula One?

NH: No, not at all. There's no pressure from Willi. I have a great relationship with him and he's always supported me, both on and off the track. We work very well together and I hope it stays that way.

Q. How do you feel about racing against the generation of young German drivers?

NH: Six Germans is a lot, but there are quite a few Brazilians now as well. For me, though, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where someone is from when I'm racing against them.

Q. Does the success of Brawn as an independent team give you hope that Williams will be able to take on the might of McLaren and Ferrari?

NH: The hope is always there. Independent of what Brawn does, however, I know that Williams can be successful.

shares
comments
Ferrari: Pull-outs not due to downturn

Previous article

Ferrari: Pull-outs not due to downturn

Next article

Button sad to see Toyota leave F1

Button sad to see Toyota leave F1
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021