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Renault duo look ahead to Italy

NEWS STORY
30/08/2017

Nico Hulkenberg fired his way to a third sixth position of the season in Spa as he lines up more points on the high-speed and historic Monza circuit.

What do you make of Monza?
Nico Hulkenberg: It's a very unique place; incredibly special and holds a lot of history. In terms of the actual track, it's a high-speed layout which means a low downforce configuration for the car, to favour top speed. Having such low downforce becomes uncomfortable sometimes as the car feels light and quite floaty, which can be a bit of a struggle. Monza features a lot of hard braking zones and boasts some legendary corner combinations such as the Lesmos and the Parabolica. You can really feel the history, which is something I enjoy.

And what about the Italian atmosphere?
NH: Italy has a really good buzz, and that gets even better during the Grand Prix weekend in Monza. It's a really special atmosphere. I love the whole park and area surrounding the track too. I like my food and, of course, eating a good pizza is mandatory during the weekend! The Italian lifestyle is really cool there and you can feel their passion around town.

What's the summary from Spa?
NH: It was a good and successful end to quite a tricky weekend. We struggled a little bit on Friday and Saturday as we made changes to find the right setup and balance for my car. On race day I was much happier as once again we've shown we are the fourth quickest team, it's looking very positive. Once we get the balance and harmony where we want it to be the results seem to follow. The team have been doing a great job, it's more points in the pocket for us which is satisfying. It's important now to keep the momentum going, rack up the points and close the gap to our competitors.

Jolyon Palmer is ready to tackle the famous Monza circuit after a disappointing weekend in Belgium which promised so much.

What do you particularly like about Monza?
Jolyon Palmer: It's a very special track, and one I absolutely love. It's one of those races which carries so much history, especially when you think of all the great races and all the great drivers who have won there. The crowd carry so much passion – you can hear the fans when you drive round. The track itself is very old school and enjoyable to drive. We take off a lot of downforce so parts are flat out and there can be a lot of overtaking.

What are your results around Monza throughout your career?
JP: I won and took pole in GP2 plus I've won twice in F2, so it's been a good one for me. I think it's actually one of my best tracks. Things didn't quite go to plan there last year but hopefully I can do better this year.

What do you think it takes to do well at Monza?
JP: Monza has some long, fast straights so naturally you need good straight-line speed and then stability under braking. Combined with the speedy straights there are some very slow corners so you need to balance out the low downforce with the need to be late and hard on the brakes. It's all about finding a good top speed, with the optimum downforce level for the chicanes.

How do you reflect on Spa?
JP: It was a positive weekend with the car again looking competitive. If I had started seventh then I would have been in a position to score points, but down in fourteenth on the grid was hard. It's positive, though, and I'm happy with the first race back, it would have been nice to get points but it has been a better weekend than in previous weeks. We need the same again in the next few races; it will happen, I just need to shake off the bad luck. Things are looking much better.

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