Nico Hulkenberg Q&A: Italian Grand PrixAugust 29, 2023
Nico looks ahead to this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where he has twice recorded top-five finishes.
Congratulations on confirming your race seat with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team for next year. Having your future secured with a large part of this campaign still to go, does it bring a renewed confidence behind the wheel that a driver otherwise might lack when contract negotiations are ongoing?
“I’m happy that we’ve been able to announce the good news so that we can focus on racing and improve our performance. We work well as a team, so this is a great opportunity to build upon and try to better our position in the championship.”
We move to Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. You’ve scored in half of the races you’ve competed in at this circuit, what is it about this track that puts it up there with other historic circuits, and is it one you like to battle on?
“It’s a fun, very fast track and one that’s steeped in history – you can’t escape it and the Tifosi are super passionate. It’s a low downforce circuit though so I don’t expect an easy ride this weekend, but we’ll go out there and collect more data which hopefully can help us for the rest of the season.
It’s the second race where Formula 1 will be trialing the ‘alternative tire strategy’. What were your thoughts after Budapest and what changes could be made in your opinion to reduce the number of tires brought to a race without compromising on entertainment?
“It was the first time that we had the alternative tire strategy in Budapest so I think we need to be open-minded to change, but we can’t compromise on entertainment and track running for the fans that come to see us. I support the move to look at tires from a sustainability standpoint, but it needs to work practically to not restrict teams.”
It’s the final European race before the calendar moves around the world for the final eight events of the season. How important is the European market to you personally, given its your home region?
“Europe is the birthplace of motorsport and has so many iconic and challenging tracks. Formula 1 has grown in popularity so much over the last few years, I’ve felt that myself after coming back into the sport. It’s great to be able to go to races with new fans who are learning about F1, and other places where there’s show and entertainment and big names from other sports wanting to come to watch us race. I think we’re in a good place in terms of locations currently.”