The German finished 15th in the Spanish Grand Prix after having to make six pit stops during the race. The team switched him to a four stop strategy but two unscheduled stops, one for repairs after a pit lane collision and one for the resulting penalty, brought the tally up.
Hulkenberg has warned the team that “Overall the car still felt quite difficult to drive,” and that the team “still have some homework ahead of us.”
Reflecting on his chaotic race, he said in a team statement “We knew that it would be a difficult race today. The start went well and, until the incident in the pit lane, we looked quite good.” The original three-stop plan was scrapped after he suffered higher tyre wear than expected, a common occurrence up and down the pit lane, “We planned for a three stop, but then had to convert to a four stop. But then we had the incident, which ruined the race for us. Obviously the timing wasn’t quite right, but we are a team, so we have to look into it and make sure it does not happen again.”
In contrast Esteban Gutierrez had a rather incident free race and put in his best performance of the season so far. He capitalised from others mistakes to finish just outside the points in 11th. Overall he was happy with his result, “I focused on getting the most out of the car today, and it was important to achieve a result like this for me and the team. The team has given me the patience and tools to improve as a driver and this is what I could extract from the car.”
However he agreed that tyre management was tough and that his race was one of two halves. The first stint was relatively trouble free but he struggled towards the end with his sets of tyres. “At the beginning of the race I was quite surprised about how much I could get out of the tyres. The last two stints were a bit more difficult, but this is a step forward.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic