Nico Hulkenberg Q&A: Saudi Arabian Grand PrixMarch 14, 2023
Nico looks ahead to the second race of the season, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
You achieved 12th place in your second race as a ‘super-sub’ in 2022 - what’s your assessment of the track?
“The track is unique and special. It’s unbelievably fast given it’s a street circuit and it definitely gives you a huge rush and kick. It’s very challenging and technical but I enjoyed it there last year and hopefully I’m going to enjoy it more this year.”
After only two races the Jeddah Corniche Circuit has become known for how tough it is on drivers, with any small error costing greatly. Do you approach races like this differently or does a driver only have one approach coming into the weekend – finding the limit.
“It’s a street circuit so you always start off a little bit on the safer side and lap-by-lap, session-by-session move it up, pushing harder, getting closer to the limit and taking bigger risks. In qualifying, a small mistake could have detrimental consequences, and you are aware of that as a driver. It’s all about the risk versus reward management that we do constantly.”
After Bahrain and then Jeddah, which is higher downforce, do you think the team will have a full picture of how this car handles?
“Jeddah is obviously the second race and it’s got very different track characteristics from Bahrain, but then every other track afterwards is also a bit different so it’s going to take longer than two races to understand the car fully and see which characteristics it suits or not. We’re in a ‘work in progress’ situation where things are still very dynamic and are at an early stage and can change a lot.”