Despite coming into the 2013 season with two years of experience under his belt, Nico Hulkenberg has yet to race a Formula One car around the Nürburgring circuit. However he is eager to tackle the challenging track and race in front of the home crowd.
The Sauber driver just managed to sneak into the points with 10th at last weekends British Grand Prix. The sport swiftly moves focus to Germany but he knows what to expect with car performance.
Speaking in a team statement, he said: “I know the Nürburgring very well. Since 2005 I have driven numerous races in several categories there, and, as far as I can remember, I won a race in every category there. Of course, the fans will play a big part and I am looking forward to taking to the track in front of a home crowd. Although this is my third season, I have never raced at the Nürburgring in a Formula One car, so this is a first for me.”
However he is hoping for a strong weekend after steps forward were made at the British Grand Prix: “Overall, however, I know what to expect. I guess, everything will be a bit faster and I might perceive things a little different, but I know the track well and I am looking forward to a nice weekend.”
Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez debated the positives and negatives of back-to-back races, saying: “With back-to-back races there is less time to analyse the previous weekend and the focus changes pretty quickly, so you take the momentum and move on. On the other hand, back-to-back races are really nice, because you only have a couple of days until you are back in the car again.”
It’s a track that he thoroughly enjoys and he is eager to take to the track in a Formula One car: “It’s a traditional Track as the GP circuit is part of the famous Nordschleife and I enjoy it a lot. It’s interesting to drive there with the fast corners, and the weather can be a challenge too. It’s exciting to come to Germany and feel the racing atmosphere. There is not that much to do around the area, so it’s all about pure racing.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering, described the difficulties of setting up a car for the track and the demands of the circuit itself: “The Nürburgring is one of the most technically challenging circuits for the drivers and engineers. There is a good mix of low, medium and high-speed corners with the added challenge of several sections requiring many set-up and driver compromises. There are also some off camber corners, which always make it harder to get the ideal set-up.”
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team