Hulkenberg’s woes cost Force India the chance to challenge Red Bull

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1. United States Grand Prix, Sunday 2nd November 2014. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1.
United States Grand Prix, Sunday 2nd November 2014. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

Nico Hulkneberg has been deemed by many to be the best of the current F1 drivers not to get a chance to drive for a top team. However, this season he is being shown the way by his Mexican team mate Sergio Perez who has scored 64 points to the German’s 38, with just 3 races to go.

For the third time in the last four races, Hulkenberg was forced to retire following contact with another car. In the 2015 US GP in Austin, Nico tangled with Daniel Ricciardo and the subsequent damage forced him to retire from the race. This follows on track race incidents with Felipe Massa in Singapore and Marcus Ericsson in Russia, which ended with the same result, a DNF.

To many his move on Ricciardo in Austin appeared similar to that of Kimi Raikkonen on Valtteri Bottas in Sochi, a dive up the inside resulting in a collision. The Kimi move in Russia saw the Finn sanctioned, yet in Austin the stewards decided Hulkenberg’s broken front wing was the reason he was unable to make the move stick.

Nico Hulkenberg explained following the race, “We were looking really good and I wanted to get past Daniel as I was faster than him and he was holding me up, so I tried to make a move.

“Unfortunately that didn’t work and it was the end of my race. When I got back to the garage the team told me that there was an issue with the front wing – from contact earlier in the race – and it broke just when I was trying to make the move on Daniel [Ricciardo[.

“It’s a huge frustration to be out of the race when things were looking so promising,” Hulkenberg added. “Until the accident, it had been a very interesting race and it must have been a very entertaining for the fans as well. I struggled at first on the intermediate tyres, but as soon as I switched to slicks I started making good progress.”

Force India are 48 points behind Red Bull Racing in the F1 constructors’ standings. If Nico had delivered the points contribution this season that his team mate Perez has provided, the gap now would be just 22 points with three races to go.

4 responses to “Hulkenberg’s woes cost Force India the chance to challenge Red Bull

  1. It was pretty clear to see the front-wing tilt sideways during the breaking and before either of the two drivers turned the corner. I guess it’s just another case of bad luck for him, or do you guys think it was his own fault for damaging the car prior to the forced retirement?

  2. Just saying, 22 points is a lot when you can’t really expect more than the 6th place on average.

  3. The Hulk seems like a nice guy but he’s a second tier driver much like Rosberg, Button, et al. With a winning car and a bit of luck he could be WDC. But he’s in a barely second tier car so is just an also ran.

    Good but not great.

    I never get the sense that he can make things happen or be a consistent front foot player like HAM, VET, ALO, RIC. Those guys are a different breed.

  4. a fifth/sixth place in hungary lost due to reliability, another strong haul in spa lost due to reliability, a 50-50 contact between him and massa and another one which was out of his control in austin, that’s a whole lot of points lost, but this is the phase some drivers go through sometimes, he’s a damn good driver, easily better than perez just sometimes things don’t go your way

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