Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Hulkenberg explains “mega lap” for fifth on grid

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best qualifying performance of the year by taking fifth on the grid in Mexico with what he called a “mega” lap.

“The car just got better and better through qualifying with the track gripping up,” Hulkenberg told reporters.

Kimi Raikkonen fans banner, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
Mexican GP qualifying in pictures
While other drivers were perplexed by changing conditions in the final phase of qualifying, Hulkenberg said his car kept improving.

“It’s obviously not a low-downforce track but due to the altitude it’s quite low-downforce,” he said. Track evolution just seemed to help the car and pick up the balance and the pace for us. And perhaps we did a good job as well understanding the tyres, getting them into the sweet spot.”

Sergio Perez missed the cut for the top ten and was over half a second slower than his team mate in Q2. Hulkenberg said his best lap of the session came in the final minutes.

“My first lap in Q3 was really mega, I don’t think there was anything more to squeeze out of there,” he said. “A really good qualifying.”

Hulkenberg has been involved in lap one incidents three times so far this year including at the last race in Austin. He starts tomorrow’s race behind the two Mercedes and two Red Bulls.

“You always have to be careful at the start but every start has a different dynamic,” he said. “You have to play it by ear, see where the gap is.”

“I think last weekend qualifying went great but it was my mistake. It should be fun tomorrow.”

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 13 comments on “Hulkenberg explains “mega lap” for fifth on grid”

    1. “Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best qualifying performance of the year by taking fifth”

      He was third (and started second) in Austria

      1. No, he wasn’t. At least not this year as you’ve quoted yourself.

        1. Actually he WAS mate…go back and look at the 2016 Austrian qualifying results….

        2. @addvariety

          It was 2016 – in the wet he was third fastest

        3. He was 3rd and started 2nd. But that was a terrible start and very bad race for him. Hope he can get through first lap without any incident.

      2. @dimitris-1395, I suspect what Keith meant to say was that this was Hulkenberg’s joint best qualifying performance in dry conditions, matching the 5th place he had on the grid in Monaco; you’re right about him qualifying higher in Austria though, albeit in mixed weather conditions.

    2. This is a great opportunity to widen the gap to Williams in the constructors championship.

    3. Great job by Hulk. It was fun to watch. I am starting to like the raw and fast nature of this track. Reminds me of some of the old F1 tracks.

      1. Sviatoslav (@)
        30th October 2016, 11:24

        Only we have to forget about the clumsy and plain stupid last part of the track.

    4. In before Vettel and Kimi get great starts, sandwich him, and Vettel turns into T1 across his nose…

    5. Renault must be happy now..after he signed the contract he has been better than PER…

    6. I still somehow feel that Perez starting 12th on the softs will finish higher than Hulk starting 5th on the supers.

      I know we mostly prefer grid position rather than tyre choice, but Fernando (with his high downforce, good through the corner and hence low degradation on tyre) and Checo should really be involved in the show tomorrow.

      Also, can we have some more of the Ham/Ros in Bahrain or Ric/Ves in Malaysia. Sincere request.

    7. Beautiful effort!
      Really happy to see H├╝lkenberg producing good qualys. Hope this time it goes well in the race.

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