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Hülkenberg's Clean Qualifying Amidst Sprint Struggles

Hülkenberg’s Clean Qualifying Amidst Sprint Struggles

20/04/2024

Nico Hülkenberg rebounds with a solid Q2 qualification after a challenging Sprint session in Shanghai.

Nico Hülkenberg experienced a day of contrasts in Shanghai. The Haas F1 driver endured a nightmare during the Sprint, where he plummeted down the order and finished last, before qualifying in Q2, ahead of his own teammate.

The German received a reprimand for overtaking in the pit lane. Race direction acknowledged he had been poorly advised by his team, who told him it was possible, but considered that he should have known the regulations.

“We dropped down the field quite spectacularly during the Sprint; there was nothing obvious, no damage to the car,” explains Hülkenberg. “In the pack, right after the start, I think we damaged our tires in the first few laps. We were running in the dirty air of many cars, which cost us dearly.”

“Then, I experienced degradation and fell back. Maybe we took a wrong turn in the settings after moving from FP1 to Sprint Qualifying. We intended to improve the car, but it reacted in a strange and different way than we expected in the Sprint.”

“I was very pleased with the qualification; it was very clean, I couldn’t have asked for more in terms of execution and laps. We corrected things from the Sprint, things were more in line with what we were expecting – so I’m happy. I expect a challenging race tomorrow, I think it will be tough for us, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Kevin Magnussen had a better Sprint than his qualification, in a reversal to his teammate, with a tenth place in the morning and an elimination in Q1 in the afternoon: “Keeping 10th place in the Sprint was quite a difficult task, it seemed that RB and Sauber were a bit faster than us.”

“I hope we can work on this for tomorrow’s race, we would like to be able to keep the tires alive a little longer. In qualifying, I only did one lap on the first run because I was called to the weighbridge, we didn’t have time to go out again with that first set of tires.”

“I only did one lap with my second set of tires, and Sargeant exited in front of me at turn 8, which made me lose a bit of time, then Tsunoda got in the way at turn 14. These days, it’s so tight and we end up in Q1. I feel a bit unlucky.”

Kevin Magnussen had a better Sprint than his qualification

Hülkenberg’s Clean Qualifying Amidst Sprint Struggles. Hülkenberg’s Clean Qualifying Amidst Sprint Struggles

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