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F1 Italian Grand Prix: Hulkenberg in search of reprise to banish Spa blues

A repeat of his 2013 Italian Grand Prix performance would go a long way to cheering Nico Hulkenberg after his failure to take the start at Spa two weekends ago....

Nico Hülkenberg believes that the best way to banish memories of his failure to start the Belgian Grand Prix would be to relive his Monza performance from two years ago.

The German, who had been hampered by turbo problems during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, reported a loss of power on his way to the grid and, despite taking up his position for the start, was forced to retire before the lights went out. To make his DNF all the more galling, Force India team-mate Sergio Perez not only challenged eventual winner Lewis Hamilton for the lead on lap one, but went on to claim his best finish of the season in fifth place.

Hulkenberg would have started three rows behind the Mexican thanks to his qualifying gremlins, but acknowledges that a healthy VJM08B should have allowed him to make up places at a circuit he regards as one of the best on the schedule. Next up, however, is another Hulkenberg favourite, and the German will be looking to make up for his Belgian frustration.

“When you have a frustrating weekend like the one in Spa, the best cure is to get back behind the wheel and go racing again,” he explained, “I know we could have been very competitive in Belgium without the technical issues on race day and we missed an opportunity to score good points.

“Like Spa, Monza is special. It's a high-speed track that pushes the car to the limit - it may look easy, but the margin for error when braking for the chicanes is very small and you end up paying heavily for every mistake. The layout of the track should allow us to be competitive and it's an opportunity for us to score important points.”

One of Hulkenberg's best performances at the wheel of an F1 car came at Monza two seasons ago, when he qualified his Sauber third fastest before going on to claim a meritorious fifth in the race.

“I had a very exciting race there in 2013 and I wouldn't mind a repeat performance,” the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner confirmed, “We have seen what the VJM08 is capable of in the last few events and I think we will have the chance to compete in the top ten.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.09.2013- Qualifying celebration: pole Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9, 2nd Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9, 3rd Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
08.09.2013- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
22.08.2015 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Circuti Atmosphere
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Circuit Atmosphere
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Fans
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Christoph Waltz (AUT), Actor
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16

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