22 January 2014
Hulkenberg: It’s hard to set targets for F1 2014
Nico Hulkenberg admits that the new F1 rules make it difficult to predict how the 2014 season will play out.
Nico Hulkenberg admits that the change of F1 regulations for 2014 make it hard to define goals for the season, even if there may be the opportunity to upset the usual pecking order.
The German returns to Sahara Force India after a year away at Sauber and is hoping to continue from where he left off at the end of 2013, where he was a regular top six threat for the Swiss outfit. However, with changes to the engine, drivetrain and aerodynamics mandated by the new rulebook, he admits that there is no certainty to anything ahead of the first race.
“I hope that we have a competitive car and that I can deliver good results, just like I did at the end of 2013,” he said as Force India stole a march on the opposition by launching the VJM07 via Twitter, “But it's really hard to define and set the targets with so many question marks in the game.
“It's exciting times, but there's not so much I can say at the moment. I think everybody is a bit in the dark in terms of how the car is going to behave, what it's going to be like, and also the driving sensation for us in the car. There are quite a few question marks still there and I think we can't really give you all the answers until we've been out on the track running.”
With Force India having challenged hard for fifth place in the constructors' championship in the first half of 2013, Hulkenberg sees no reason why the Silverstone-based squad can't be a player again this year, although shaking up the established order will not be easy.
“I think it could be an opportunity, but it works in both directions, because the regulations are really so different,” he noted, “A lot has changed, especially on the engine side, so from that point of view it's impossible to predict anything. I'm sure there's an opportunity to do something special, but there's also an opportunity to make a mistake and to go the wrong way. We won't know until after the first couple of races.
“Obviously we want to do well, we want to score a lot of points and I think maximising our package and our performance is the main target for now. I'm sure that [reliability] could play a role at some point. For now everybody has to master the challenge and focus on reliability and make sure they tick the box. We're all in the same boat there, the manufacturers and all the teams.”
With veterans like Jenson Button admitting that time in the simulator has suggested that the new breed of F1 car requires a shift in driving style, Hulkenberg is ready to adapt when testing gets underway in Spain next week.
“I think you need to be able to adjust to the required circumstances and adjust your driving style, [but] it's not easy and it will be a big challenge for everyone involved,” he claimed, “The drivers have to deal with fuel management and everything else as well, but I think that's exciting. Going into the season I've never been in a situation like this in F1 where we know so little about what to expect and what's coming.”
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.