Nico Hulkenberg felt the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix was the one race that got away from him and reckons victory at Interlagos could have changed his entire Formula 1 career.

Reflecting on his career ahead of his final F1 race for Renault in Abu Dhabi, Hulkenberg said his “heart was bleeding” when he watched a re-run of the 2012 race at Interlagos.

Having already led some of the early stages, the German collided with Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren as he attempted to retake the lead at the first corner. Hulkenberg recovered from the clash to finish fifth but acknowledges he had a real chance of winning.

“Ironically last week I was watching on Sky classic races, and I tuned in and it was that race,” Hulkenberg said before the Abu Dhabi finale.

“I’m leading and I watch it all over again and my heart was bleeding.

“Yeah, that was the day… I mean before the safety car I was leading by 50 seconds. So that was a special race, a special day, a very young Hulk.

“That was one special drives for the history books.”

Asked if he felt like a victory in Brazil could have changed the shape of his career, Hulkenberg replied: “Maybe, possibly.

“It’s always difficult to tell what would’ve happened in that situation. I don’t know.”

And Hulkenberg believes his one-year switch from Force India at Sauber in 2013 was the biggest misstep of his F1 career.

“Not all moves were right or perfect,” he explained.

“That’s the difficult thing in Formula 1, that you take a decision like six eight months before you get there with things changing and it’s difficult to predict where things will turn out.

“I always felt that with hindsight it’s easy to say but that change to Sauber in 2013 was - while it was a good second half of the season - I think all in all that move maybe was not the best for my career.”

 

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