Nico Hulkenberg Q&A: Sao Paulo Grand PrixNovember 1, 2023
After another combative drive last weekend in Mexico City, Nico Hulkenberg looks ahead to the final part of this triple-header as we head to South America for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Both yourself and Kevin have scored pole positions around the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace – what do you remember of that qualifying session 13 years ago and why is Interlagos a race circuit that every driver wants to tackle?
“I remember most of it! They were special, tricky conditions and it was kind of damp but dried off. I think we were on intermediates and then went onto slicks for Q3 and we really hit the nail on the head and made it stick. It’s a great circuit, I love the rhythm of the circuit, the place, and the energy of Sao Paulo.”
Sao Paulo marks the final Sprint of this season – now they’ve become a familiar feature on the calendar – what are your thoughts and what changes would you make for next season?
“They’re very different. They’re intense, hectic, and busy for drivers and teams. There’s not a lot of preparation time with one hour of practice, so for us I’m in two minds about it but for fans and those watching on TV it’s somewhat more interesting as there’s a ‘meaningful’ session from Friday evening onwards.”
We come to the end of the final triple-header of the year. At the beginning of the season, drivers seem to like the repetition of racing consecutive weekends to get into a good fitness routine etc, but towards the end of the season, does the body feel the strain or do you still feel in peak fitness?
“I think towards the end of the season you get more driving fitness because you spend more time in the car, so your body and the muscles really acclimatize and they’re just more used to it compared to the beginning of the season. You focus a lot, get into a good rhythm and groove, and in between races there’s enough time for recovery for the body to be fit again, so it’s actually easier than at the beginning of the season, I’d say.”