Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that he expected more from his Sauber C32 during today’s German Grand Prix. The German finished 10th and scored one point for his efforts after “fighting on every lap” and moving to a three-stop strategy.
Speaking in a team statement, Hulkenberg said: “It was an extremely tough race. I was fighting on every lap, but this is what we were able to get out of it. To be honest, I expected we would have better pace today, but we didn’t. The car didn’t feel as good as I expected it would either. I thought, and hoped, we could fight with McLaren, but, unfortunately, they were too fast for us today.”
He revealed that it was dramatic and busy race for him but that impacted his strategy: “It was a race with a lot of overtaking and wheel-to-wheel battles, which are always fun. However, having to fight for positions all the time is never good for the strategy, as it’s tough on the tyres and you loose time. Nevertheless, this weekend was better than the previous ones. We didn’t have an update on the car, we experimented with the set-up, which worked well.”
Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez admitted that it was a “tough” race weekend with plenty of fighting and on-track action: ““From the beginning to the end we were fighting for positions, so it was a very tough race. It was difficult to overtake, because we were lacking speed on the straights. My rhythm was quite reasonable and I tried to do my best. The strategy wasn’t ideal, although everything went to plan, but we pitted just before the safety car, which didn’t make it any easier.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn is hopeful that the team can take the momentum forward to the next round in Hungary despite the end result not being what was expected: “One point is not exactly what we expected after a strong qualifying, but the safety car period didn’t play into our hands. Nevertheless, we move on to the test in Silverstone and to the next Grand Prix with confidence.”
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team