Nico Hulkenberg heads to Spain with a determined frame of mind, as he targets a strong weekend and a return to the points.
What are the main challenges of racing in Barcelona?
Nico Hulkenberg: We rack up a lot of laps at Barcelona year on year, so it’s a place we are all very familiar with. It’s a layout I like with a lot high-speed corners including Turns 3 and 10, which are especially quick. Barcelona is actually a very physical circuit, and you usually feel the aches in your neck after the race! We had a productive winter test there earlier in the year so we’ll be looking to build on that circuit knowledge and put in a good result throughout the weekend.
Do you like racing in Barcelona?
NH: The Spanish Grand Prix has been on the calendar every year since I’ve raced in Formula 1, and I’ve won a race at the circuit back in 2008 in my Formula 3 days! The fans are excellent in Spain every year; they are loud and so passionate for motorsport and that’s great to see.
How do you reflect on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix?
NH: Obviously, Baku was not a good weekend for us. I gave it my best effort and was driving very hard, but we couldn’t seem to make any progression. The season is very long and I hope this is just one of those off weekends, which can happen. It’s been a difficult start to the season, but I know we’re a tight group. We’ll put our heads together and go again in Barcelona.
Our Australian is remaining positive ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
What do you like about the Spanish Grand Prix?
Daniel Ricciardo: The Spanish Grand Prix is always an exciting time of the year as it’s the first European round of the season. Barcelona is a fun circuit, we all know it very well from all the winter and in-season testing. It’s a circuit I’ve always enjoyed racing at in my career: I won there in Formula Renault 3.5 and in recent years have been on the podium. We’ll be targeting a clean weekend right from the off on Friday and hopefully come away with some points in the bag.
What’s a lap like at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?
DR: The track has a bit of everything, which is why it’s probably a good circuit for testing. The first sector has a nice flow, especially the run through Turns 1, 2 and 3. The final sector slows down a bit and is more technical, placing a bit of a demand on the rear tyres which can overheat quite easily if you’re not careful.
What are your post-Azerbaijan feelings?
DR: I feel bad for the team about what happened in Baku, especially as we were starting to hit a nice rhythm in the race. We’ll take the positives from it, move on and go again in Barcelona. Unfortunately, the three-place grid penalty isn’t ideal, but it’s one I’ll accept for my error and I’ll deal with it as best as I can in Spain. Maybe it’s time to crack out some of the overtaking moves!