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"It hurts," admits Hulkenberg

NEWS STORY
29/07/2019

Enjoying the unenviable record of 168 Grand Prix starts without achieving a podium, all that seemed set to change on Sunday for Nico Hulkenberg.

Unfortunately, while running fourth the German was to spin off and hit the barriers at the same corner that had previously claimed Charles Leclerc and was to subsequently claim Valtteri Bottas.

"Today is one of those days where you have to make it stick, where you have to make it count when you're given an opportunity," he told Sky Sports. "I'm just gutted, for myself and for the team that we couldn't make it stick... especially in front of the home fans.

"It hurts," he admitted, "and it's going to hurt even more tomorrow.

"One little moment at the entry of Turn 16, I lost the car a little bit on a damp track with tyres that are degrading," he said. "That black tarmac is basically like ice and I wasn't aware of that."

Hulkenberg's off followed an early exhaust issue which sidelined teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

"It was an emotional rollercoaster today with highs and lows," said team boss Cyril Abiteboul. "Unfortunately, we're finishing on a low with two retirements.

"Nico had been driving an amazing race and was supported by decisions from the pit wall and good execution by the pit crew. We made the call not to put dry tyres on too early and made up a lot of positions to second.

"The final corner looked tricky all day and Nico could not save the car from the wall," he admitted. "It's difficult to take as it was an exciting race and we'd have liked to have been part of it until the end.

"We missed an opportunity for big points over our direct competitors, but there are certainly positives from the weekend," he insisted. "We want to taste being higher on merit more regularly. It doesn't deter from our focus of pushing on and building a more competitive car."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Hockenheim, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spartacus, 29/07/2019 16:58

"It hurts and was a big mistake, but not as bad as VET's hurt from crashing out of the lead last year!!"

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