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Hulkenberg frustrated to miss out on points

Nico Hülkenberg came tantalisingly close to scoring some points for Sauber in Monaco, but in the end he was beaten to the prize by the flying Finn of Kimi Raikkonen.
As the end of the Monaco Grand Prix approached, Sauber's Nico Hülkenberg would have been forgiven for believing that his afternoon's labours were about to be rewarded with a precious championship point after Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez came to blows ahead of him.

With Perez out of the race and Raikkonen now behind Hülkenberg after an emergency pit stop, the German driver was in the points going into the final lap of the race - only to end up missing out just a minute later.

"We couldn't expect any miracles today ... We just lacked speed throughout the race," Hülkenberg signed after being annihilated by an unstoppable Lotus in the last run through Ste Devote at the start of the final lap.

"It's a shame, as that point would have been ours," he said.

"We are disappointed with the result today," agreed Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn. "We were in a position to score points.

"The first safety car period compromised our strategy, but the most surprising thing for us was that we couldn't gain an advantage with our choice of tyres for the re-start. Although Nico was on soft tyres (the harder compound), the degradation was higher than that of our competitors who were on super softs."

Hülkenberg agreed that his fortunes had largely been dictated throughout by his tyres, with the last set leaving him no match for the just-pitted Lotus.

"Unlike most of the other drivers, I started on soft tyres at the re-start, which was okay in the beginning," he explained. "But after another safety car, the tyres never came back to life again. The rears especially degraded a lot. When I got out of the car I could see the steel belt, so it's no wonder the pace wasn't good enough any more."

"The degradation was too high, and the overall pace was not quick enough to score points," agreed Tom McCullough, Sauber's head of track engineering. "Ultimately the car was quite hard on its tyres."

That left Hülkenberg crossing the line in 11th place, only a little over a tenth ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas who was in turn less than a second ahead of Hülkenberg's Sauber team mate Esteban Gutiérrez.

"It was difficult to overtake in the race today," contributed Bottas. "Even though sometimes we felt like we had the pace, we couldn't make the moves we wanted. There was a lot of action in an eventful race so I was happy to bring the car home."

Gutiérrez was similarly putting safety first in Monte Carlo, after having recently been in the team's bad books.

“It was very challenging to bring the car back home without any scratches or a crash," he said. "We couldn't expect to score points, but I did my best to use every opportunity I had to gain positions. Nevertheless, it was also important to not go over the limit and finish the race.

"It was tough with Williams in front and Lotus behind," he added.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.05.2013- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35 leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
26.05.2013- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32 leads Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
25.05.2013- Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
25.05.2013- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
25.05.2013- Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
25.07.2014- Press conference, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team
25.07.2014- Press conference, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India, Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Marco Mattiacci (ITA) Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari
25.07.2014- Press conference, Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal.
25.07.2014- Press conference, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36

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JJJ - Unregistered

May 27, 2013 6:51 PM

I know they can't replace Guttierez cause Telmex foots most of the Sauber team's bill but they should really look to replace him...he's way too far off the pace and with this year's car it's clear the team will need every point it can get to finish in front of STR and perhaps Williams if the latter can start picking up a few points as the season goes on. Along with Grosjean he's the only driver who is 0 for 6 in quali vs his teammate so far this year and in the races he's usually hanging around the back with the Caterhams and Williams... Better put Frijns in the car and receive some cash in the end from finishing higher in the constructors championship.



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